, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 69–81 | Cite as

Ultrastructural characterization of the sex chromosomes during spermatogenesis of spiders having holocentric chromosomes and a long diffuse stage

  • Ricardo Benavente
  • Rodolfo Wettstein


An ultrastructural study has been made of spermatogenesis in two species of primitive spiders having holocentric chromosomes (Dysdera crocata, ♂XO and Segestria florentia X1X2O). Analysis of the meiotic prophase shows a scarcity or absence of typical leptotene to pachytene stages. Only in D. crocata have synaptonemal complex (SC) remnants been seen, and these occurred in nuclei with an extreme chromatin decondensation. In both species typical early prophase stages have been replaced by nuclei lacking SC and with their chromatin almost completely decondensed, constituting a long and well-defined diffuse stage. Only nucleoli and the condensed sex chromosomes can be identified. — In S. florentina paired non-homologous sex chromosomes lack a junction lamina and thus clearly differ from the sex chromosomes of more evolved spiders with an X1X2O male sex determination mechanism. In the same species, sex chromosomes can be recognized during metaphase I due to their special structural details, while in D. crocata the X chromosome is not distinguishable from the autosomes at this stage. — The diffuse stage and particularly the structural characteristics of the sex chromosomes during meiotic prophase are reviewed and discussed in relation to the meiotic process in other arachnid groups.


Ultrastructural Study Synaptonemal Complex Meiotic Prophase Determination Mechanism Diffuse Stage 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo Benavente
    • 1
  • Rodolfo Wettstein
    • 1
  1. 1.División Biología Molecular, Unidad de Citogenética UltraestructuralInstituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente EstableMontevidéoUruguay

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