Chromosome Research

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 417–428

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


DOI: 10.1007/s10577-007-1133-2

Cite this article as:
Dutrillaux, A.M., Xie, H. & Dutrillaux, B. Chromosome Res (2007) 15: 417. doi:10.1007/s10577-007-1133-2


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 

Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

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

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