Chromosome Research

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 231–242 | Cite as

Cytogenetics of the bleak (Alburnus alburnus), with special emphasis on the B chromosomes

  • M. Schmid
  • C. G. Ziegler
  • C. Steinlein
  • I. Nanda
  • M. Schartl


Some of the largest B chromosomes so far discovered in vertebrates are present in the cyprinid fish Alburnus alburnus. Previous cytogenetic analyses revealed a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 50. In addition, in some individuals one or two unusually large B chromosomes are present. Two morphologically different types of B chromosomes were observed. The frequency of animals bearing a supernumerary chromosome was found to vary considerably between different populations. A more detailed analysis of the A and B chromosomes of A. alburnus by conventional banding techniques, as well as fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) with the telomeric DNA repeats (GGGTTA)7/(TAACCC)7, 18S + 28S rDNA and 5S rDNA were performed in the present study. Furthermore, a B chromosome-specific DNA probe obtained by amplified length polymorphism (AFLP) was hybridized on metaphases of A. alburnus carrying supernumerary B chromosomes. The banding analyses showed that the B chromosomes are completely heterochromatic, consist of GC-rich DNA sequences, replicate their DNA in the very late S-phase of the cell cycle and are composed mainly of a specific retrotransposable DNA element. Finally, blood probes from A. alburnus were collected for DNA-flow cytometric measurements. It could be shown that the huge supernumerary chromosomes represent nearly 10% of the total genome size of A. alburnus.

Key words

AFLP Alburnus alburnus B chromosomes DNA flow cytometry fluorescence in-situ hybridization 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Schmid
    • 1
  • C. G. Ziegler
    • 1
  • C. Steinlein
    • 1
  • I. Nanda
    • 1
  • M. Schartl
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Human GeneticsUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Physiological Chemistry IUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany

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