, Volume 107, Issue 3, pp 173–183 | Cite as

Ordered arrangement and rearrangement of chromosomes during spermatogenesis in two species of planarians (Plathelminthes)

  • Boris I. Joffe
  • Irina V. Solovei
  • Herbert C. Macgregor


The pattern of distribution of telomeric DNA (TTAGGG), 28S rDNA, and 5S rDNA has been studied using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and primed in situ labelling during spermatogenesis and sperm formation in the filiform spermatozoa of two species of planarians, Dendrocoelum lacteum and Polycelis tenuis (Turbellaria, Plathelminthes). In both species, the positions of FISH signals found with each probe sequence are constant from cell to cell in the nuclei of mature sperm. Chromosome regions containing 5S and 28S rDNA genes are gathered in distinct bundles of spiral form. In early spermatids with roundish nuclei, the sites of a given sequence on different chromosomes remain separate. Centromeres (marked by 5S rDNA) gather into a single cluster in the central region of the slightly elongated sperm nucleus. During spermatid maturation, this cluster migrates to the distal pole of the nucleus. In Polycelis, telomeric sites gather into three distinct clusters at both ends and in the middle of the moderately elongated nucleus. These clusters retain their relative positions as the spermatid matures. All the chromosome ends bearing 28S rDNA gather only into the proximal cluster. Our data suggest that structures in the nucleus selectively recognise chromosome regions containing specific DNA sequences, which helps these regions to find their regular places in the mature sperm nucleus and causes clustering of the sites of these sequences located on different chromosomes. This hypothesis is supported by observations on elongated sperm of other animals in which a correlation exists between ordered arrangement of chromosomes in the mature sperm nucleus and clustering of sites of the same sequence from different chromosomes during spermiogenesis.


Mature Sperm Sperm Nucleus Regular Place Distal Pole Spiral Form 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boris I. Joffe
    • 1
  • Irina V. Solovei
    • 2
  • Herbert C. Macgregor
    • 3
  1. 1.Zoological Institute RAS, St Petersburg, RussiaRU
  2. 2.Institute of Anthropology and Human Genetics, University of Munich, Munich, GermanyDE
  3. 3.Department of Biology, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, EnglandGB

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