Chromosome Research

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 233–241 | Cite as

Possible autosomal origin of macro B chromosomes in two grasshopper species

  • Vilma Loreto
  • Josefa Cabrero
  • Maria Dolores López-León
  • Juan Pedro M. Camacho
  • Maria José Souza


The acrocentric macro B chromosomes of Rhammatocerus brasiliensis (Acrididae, Gomphocerinae) and Xyleus discoideus angulatus (Romaleidae, Romaleinae) are highly similar to the X chromosome in each species in terms of morphology, size, and pycnosis. However, the results of FISH experiments using 45S and 5S rDNA probes suggest that in both species the B chromosomes are most likely of autosomal origin. In R. brasiliensis, the B chromosome presented 5S rDNA but not 45S rDNA, in resemblance to the L2, L3, M5 and S11 autosomes, but the X chromosome lacks both rDNA families. In X. d. angulatus, 45S rDNAs is absent from the B chromosome, whereas the X chromosome contains one of the two 45S rDNA clusters in the genome. The occurrence of B chromosomes in all nine R. brasiliensis populations analyzed indicates that they are widely distributed in Northeastern Brazil, and the small amount of interpopulation variation found for B chromosome prevalence suggests the existence of high gene flow, presumably due to the abundance of this grasshopper species on several types of vegetation and its relatively high flight capability.

Key words

B chromosome cytogenetics evolution FISH grasshopper Rhammatocerus Xyleus 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vilma Loreto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Josefa Cabrero
    • 3
  • Maria Dolores López-León
    • 3
  • Juan Pedro M. Camacho
    • 3
  • Maria José Souza
    • 2
  1. 1.Unidade Acadêmica de GaranhunsUniversidade Federal Rural de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Genética, CCBUniversidade Federal de PernambucoRecifeBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Genética, Facultad de CienciasUniversidad de GranadaGranadaSpain

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