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Genetica. 2003 Jan;117(1):77-84.

The B chromosomes of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans and the intragenomic conflict.

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Departamento de Genética, Universidad de Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.


The grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans harbours an extremely widespread polymorphism for supernumerary (B) chromosomes, which is found in almost all circum-Mediterranean and Caucasian populations hitherto analysed. B chromosomes in this species have been shown to evolve through several stages of parasitic and near-neutral nature, presumably because of an arms race between the standard (A) and B chromosomes. This intragenomic conflict can either be solved with the extinction of the neutralised B chromosome or, more interestingly, with the replacement of the neutralised B by a mutant version being parasitic again and thus prolonging B chromosome life. This species thus provides a complete view of the long-term life-cycle of parasitic B chromosomes.

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