, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 393-408

Cytogenetics of two species of Euceraphis (Homoptera, Aphididae)

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Somatic cell divisions, spermatogenesis, and the prophase stages of primary oocytes, are described for two species of birch aphid, Euceraphis betulae (Koch) and E. punctipennis (Zetterstedt). Females of E. betulae have two autosome pairs, two pairs of X-chromosomes of different lengths, and two B-chromosomes. Females of E. punctipennis have the same number of X-chromosomes and B-chromosomes as E. betulae, but only a single pair of autosomes. The sex determination system is X1X20. E. punctipennis males sometimes have only one B-chromosome. In the spermatogenesis of E. betulae, pairing of homologous autosomes occurs in early prophase I, but no evidence was found of chiasmata or end-to-end alignment of homologues. Instead, homologues remain closely aligned in parallel as they condense into metaphase, and anaphase I separates the products of pairing in a strictly reductional manner. The two unpaired X-chromosomes and both B-chromosomes are stretched on the anaphase I spindle and all four pass into the larger secondary spermatocyte. The second division is equational. The B-chromosomes thus show accumulation in spermatogenesis, which must be compensated in some way by an elimination mechanism in oogenesis. Meiosis of E. punctipennis is highly anomalous. The two autosomes pair but separate again in early prophase I, then one homologue becomes heterochromatic and is apparently rejected from the late prophase nucleus. A single, equational maturation division follows. In female meiosis I, both species show highly characteristic diplotene figures with multiple chiasmata, the B-chromosomes remaining unpaired. These results are discussed in relation to previous work on aphid cytogenetics.