Eur. J. Entomol. 106 (2): 153-157, 2009 | 10.14411/eje.2009.018

Distribution of heterochromatin and rDNA on the holocentric chromosomes of the aphids Dysaphis plantaginea and Melanaphis pyraria (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

Angela CRINITI1, Gabriele SIMONAZZI1, Stefano CASSANELLI1, Mario FERRARI1, Davide BIZZARO2, Gian Carlo MANICARDI*,1
1 Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e degli Alimenti, UniversitL di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via Amendola 2, 42100 Reggio Emilia, Italy; e-mail: giancarlo.manicardi@unimore.it
2 Dipartimento di Biochimica, Biologia e Genetica, UniversitL Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italia

The structure of the holocentric chromosomes of the rosy apple aphid, Dysaphis plantaginea (2n = 12), and pear-grass aphid, Melanaphis pyraria (2n = 8), was studied using C-banding, NOR, Giemsa and fluorochrome staining, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). Contrary to the equilocal distribution of heterochromatin typical of monocentric chromosomes, in both species C-banding evidenced a tendency of highly repetitive DNAs to be restricted to the X chromosomes. Silver staining and FISH, using a 28S rDNA probe, located rDNA genes on one telomere of each X chromosome, the only brightly fluorescent C-positive sites revealed by CMA3 staining, whereas all other heterochromatic C-bands were DAPI positive. Both species showed a noticeable amount of rDNA heteromorphism. Mitotic recombination is proposed as a possible mechanism responsible for the variation in size of rDNA.

Keywords: Aphid, Cytogenetics, FISH, Holocentric chromosomes, Heterochromatin, rDNA size heteromorphism

Received: December 5, 2008; Accepted: January 16, 2009; Published: May 20, 2009

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