, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 445-456

Cytological studies of the two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae Koch (Tetranychidae, trombidiformes). I: Meiosis in eggs

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Meiosis in eggs of Tetranychus urticae Koch is described. The two maturation divisions result in (a) a haploid female pronucleus consisting of three karyomeres; — (b) a divided first polar body in which the chromosomes change into karyomeres; — (c) a second polar body, entering a new mitosis which is blocked in metaphase. Irradiation of adult females produced chromosome fragments in the meiotic divisions. The fragments behave as intact chromosomes which proves that during meiosis a diffuse kinetochore is present. The meiotic divisions show the cytologically characteristic features of an inverted meiosis. The presence of such a meiosis is corroborated by observations on eggs heterozygous for chromosome mutations. In both maturation divisions the chromosomes are orientated equatorially. It is suggested that the equatorial orientation is brought about by chiasmata having terminalized to both ends of the dyads. It is argued that in organisms with holokinetic chromosomes during meiosis an axial orientation of the bivalents does not necessarily imply a normal meiosis but can also imply an inverted meiosis.

This work was carried out with financial aid of the Institute for Atomic Sciences in Agriculture and the Ministry of Public Health and Environment.