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Genome. 2001 Oct;44(5):791-6.

Pericentric inversion in natural populations of Oligoryzomys nigripes (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae).

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Department of Genetics, National Institute of Cancer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


We analysed polymorphism for pericentric inversion in chromosome 3 of Oligoryzomys nigripes (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae) in several populations in Brazil and examined the meiotic behaviour of this chromosome in heterozygotes. We observed an orderly pairing of all chromosomes at pachytene in heterozygotes for the inverted chromosome 3. No indication of meiotic arrest and germ-cell death was found. Electron microscopy of synaptonemal complexes and conventional meiotic analysis indicated strictly nonhomologous synapsis and crossing-over suppression in the inverted region in the heterozygotes, which prevent the formation of unbalanced gametes. Thus, the pericentric inversion in chromosome 3 does not apparently result in any selective disadvantages in heterozygous carriers. In the majority of the populations studied, the frequencies of acrocentric homozygotes, metacentric homozygotes, and heterozygotes were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. However, in some populations, we detected an excess of heterozygotes and a deficiency of acrocentric homozygotes.

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