Chromosome Research

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 417–428 | Cite as

Nucleolus and chromosome relationships at pachynema in four Scarabaeoidea (Coleoptera) species with various combinations of NOR and sex chromosomes

  • A. M. Dutrillaux
  • H. Xie
  • B. DutrillauxEmail author


Nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) and nucleolus locations were studied after silver staining in spermatocytes at pachynema from four beetle species selected for their various combinations of sex chromosomes. Their karyotypic formulae were: 18,neoXY (Dorcus parallelipipedus); 25,X (Passalus unicornis) and 20,Xyp (Cetonia aurata and Protaecia (Potosia) opaca). NORs were located in the short arms of a unique acrocentric autosome pair in the first three and in intercalary position in a sub-metacentric autosome pair in the last species. Silver staining gave remarkably more consistent results in pachytene than in mitotic spreads, enabling the detection of both NORs and nucleoli, and also better results in embryo than in spermatogonial metaphases. At pachynema the NORs were elongated, roughly in proportion to the number of nucleoli, which always remained associated with NOR. Nucleoli were not recurrently associated with sex chromosomes, except in P. unicornis, at late pachynema. In C. aurata and P. opaca the sex body was recurrently associated with acrocentric short arms and metacentric telomeres, respectively. Even in these simple situations, with NORs located in a single autosome pair, the number of nucleoli and their relationships with sex chromosomes varied strongly from species to species. These variations appear to be largely determined by the chromosome rearrangements which have occurred during evolution, which makes extrapolations and generalizations quite hazardous. In D. parallelipipedus pachytene cells a quasi-systematic and transient fusion between the terminal heterochromatin of two sub-metacentrics was detected. Other chromosome bivalents could also be occasionally associated, but not the NOR carrier one. A strong enhancement of DAPI or quinacrine mustard staining was observed at the fusion point.

Key words

Coleoptera NOR nucleoli pachynema Scarabaeoidea sex chromosomes 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Andersen JS, Lyon CE, Fox AH et al. (2002) Directed proteomic analysis of the human nucleolus. Curr Biol 12: 1-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Angus RB (1982) Separation of two species standing as Helophorus aquaticus (L.) (Coleoptera, Hydrophilidae) by banded chromosome analysis. Syst Entomol 7: 265-81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bickmore W, Craig J (1997) Chromosome Bands: Patterns in the Genome. RG Landes, Austin, Texas, USA and Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, Germany.Google Scholar
  4. Caspersson T, Zech L, Johanssen C (1970) Differential binding of alkylating fluorochromes in human chromosomes. Exp Cell Res 60: 315-19.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Colomba MS, Vitturi R, Zunino M (2000) Chromosome analysis and rDNA FISH in the stag beetle Dorcus parallelipipedus L. (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Lucanidae). Hereditas 133: 249-53.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Colomba MS, Vitturi R, Volpe N, Lannino A, Zunino M (2004) Karyotype, banding and rDNA FISH in the scarab beetle Anoplotrupes stercorosus (Coleoptera: Geotrupidae). Description and comparative analysis. Micron 35: 717-20.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. De Cassia De Moura R, De Souza MJ, De Melo NF, De Castro Lira-Neto A (2003) Karyotype characterization of representatives from Melolonthinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): karyotypic analysis, banding and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH). Hereditas 138: 200-06.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Dutrillaux AM, Moulin S, Dutrillaux B (2006) Use of meiotic pachytene stage of spermatocytes for karyotypic studies in insects. Chromosome Res 14: 549-57.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Dutrillaux AM, Mercier J, Dutrillaux B (2007) X-Y autosome translocation, chromosome compaction, NOR expression and heterochromatin insulation in the Scarabaeid beetle Dynastes hercules hercules. Cytogenet Genome Res (in press).Google Scholar
  10. Gomez-Zurita J, Pons J, Petitpierre E (2004) The evolutionary origin of a novel karyotype in Timarcha (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) and general trends of chromosome evolution in the genus. J Zool Syst Evol Research 42: 332-41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goodpasture C, Bloom SE (1975) Visualization of nucleolar organizer regions in mammalian chromosomes using silver staining. Chromosoma 53: 37-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Heitz E (1931) Die Ursache der gesetzmässignen Zahl, Lage, Form und Grösse pflanzlicher Nukleolen. Planta 12: 775-44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Henderson AS, Warburton D, Atwood KC (1972) Localization of ribosomal DNA in the human chromosome complement. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 69: 3394-398.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Howell WM, Black DA (1980) Controlled silver staining of nucleolus organizer regions with a protective colloidal developer. Experientia 36: 1014.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Juan C, Pons J, Petitpierre E (1993) Localisation of tandemly repeated DNA sequences in beetle chromosomes by fluorescent in situ hybridisation. Chromosome Res 1: 167-74.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Lemeunier F, Dutrillaux B, Ashburner M (1978) Relationships within the melanogaster subgroup species of the genus Drosophila (Sophophora). Chromosoma 69: 349-61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lin MS, Latt SA, Davidson RL (1974) Microfluorimetric detection of asymmetry in the centromeric region of mouse chromosomes. Exp Cell Res 86: 392-95.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Luciani JM, Guichaoua MR, Morazzani MR (1984) Complete pachytene chromosome karyotypes of human spermatocyte bivalents. Hum Genet 66: 267-71.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Macaisne N, Dutrillaux AM, Dutrillaux B (2006) Meiotic behaviour of a new complex X-Y- autosome translocation and amplified heterochromatin in Jumnos ruckeri (Saunders) (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Cetoniinae). Chromosome Res 14: 909-18.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Page J, Viera A, Parvia MT, et al. (2006) Involvement of syneptonemal complex proteins in sex chromosome segregation during marsupial male meiosis. PloS Genet 2: e136.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Postiglioni A, Brum-Zorilla N (1988) Non-relationship between nucleolus and sex chromosome system Xyp in Chelymorpha variabilis Boheman (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) with microspreading technique. Genetica 77: 137-41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Proença SJR, Serrano ARM, Collares-Pereira MJ (2002) An unusual karyotype with low chromosome number in Megalocephalini, a basal group of tiger beetles (Coleoptera, Cicindelidae): cytogenetic characterisation by C-banding and location of rDNA genes. Hereditas 137: 202-07.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ritossa FM, Spiegelman S (1965) Localization of DNA complementary to ribosomal RNA in the nucleolus organizer region of Drosophila melanogaster. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 53: 737-45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Schwarzacher HG, Mikelsaar AV, Schnedl W (1978) The nature of the Ag-staining of nucleolus organizer regions. Cytogenet Cell Genet 20: 24-9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Serrano J, Galian J, Reyes-Castillo P (1998) Karyotypic evolution and phylogeny of Mexican Passalidae (Coleoptera: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea). J Zool Syst Evol Res 36: 159-67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Smith SG, Virkki N (1978) Animal Cytogenetics, Vol. 3: Insecta 5. Coleoptera. Berlin: Gebrüder Borntraeger.Google Scholar
  27. Staiber W, Wech I, Preiss A (1997) Isolation and chromosomal localization of a germ line-specific highly repetitive DNA family in Acricotopus lucidus (Diptera,Choronomidae). Chromosoma 106: 267-75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Thurston VC, Zinkovski RP, Binder LI (1996) Tau as a nucleolar protein in human nonneuronal cells in vitro and in vivo. Chromosoma 105: 20-0.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Tres L (2005) XY chromosomal bivalent: nucleolar attaction. Mol Reprod Dev 72: 1-.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Virkki N, Mazzella C, Denton A (1991) Silver staining of the Xyp sex bivalent. Cytobios 67: 47-3.Google Scholar
  31. Vitturi R, Colomba M, Volpe N, Lannino A, Zunino M (2003) Evidence for XO sex-chromosome system in Pentodon bidens punctatum (Coleoptera: Scarabaeoidea: Scarabaeidae) with X-linked 18S–28S rDNA clusters. Genes Genet Syst 78: 427-32.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Zacaro AA, Proença SJR, Lopes-Andrade C, Serrano ARM (2004) Cytogenetic analysis of Ctenostomini by C-banding and rDNA localization and its relevance to the knowledge of the evolution of tiger beetles (Coleoptera, Cicindelidae). Genetica 122: 261-68.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UMR 5202, OSEBMuséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance

Personalised recommendations