Behaviour of the X chromosomes during growth and maturation of parthenogenetic eggs of Amphorophora tuberculata (Homoptera, Aphididae), in relation to sex determination

R. L. Blackman*, D. F. Hales

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Prophase chromosomes of growing oocytes from thelytokous, viviparous females of Amphorophora tuberculata Brown and Blackman (n=2) were studied using a modified propionic acid squash technique with Feulgen staining. In early prophase, prior to the growth phase of the oocyte, the X chromosomes are partially condensed and looped together so that all four ends appear to be associated. Later in prophase the X chromosomes separate in oocytes destined to be female, but remain associated in presumptive male oocytes. The autosomes condense gradually throughout prophase. The nucleus of the presumptive male oocyte is further characterised by the formation of a spherical Feulgen-positive body, which attains a large size (7 μm diameter) in late prophase. At this stage, the X chromosomes are no longer visible as separate entities, and are apparently included in the spherical body. At metaphase this disappears, leaving the X chromosomes still united as a condensed bivalent. The spherical body seems to have nucleolar as well as chromatin constituents; nucleolar organisers are present at the ends of the X chromosomes where it first arises. It may function in maintaining the cohesion between the X chromosomes through prophase, and could also facilitate correct orientation of the X bivalent on the spindle of the maturation division. As sex determination in aphids is controlled by juvenile hormone concentration, it appears that the hormone may interact with the X chromosomes during prophase, bringing about their separation in female oocytes, perhaps by inhibiting the formation of the spherical body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalChromosoma
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1986

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