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Chromosome fission associated with growth of ribosomal DNA in Neodiprion abietis (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae)

J. Rousselet, L. Monti, M.–A. Auger–Rozenberg, J. S. Parker, F. Lemeunier


The haploid complement consists of seven metacentric chromosomes in most diprionid species but has evolved to n = 8 by fission in Neodiprion abietis. This fission generated a small telocentric chromosome and a large pseudoacrocentric chromosome with a short arm carrying a satellite. In situ hybridization indicated that the location of the rRNA gene cluster corresponds to the whole short arm. This suggests that (i) the breaking point was located close to an rRNA gene cluster, and (ii) fission was associated with growth of rDNA. These results suggest rDNA as a preferential breaking point but with a role in the healing of naked chromosome ends.

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