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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 Jul 29. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0226. [Epub ahead of print]

Reproductive Aspects of Chagas Disease Vectors: First Evidences of Transcriptional Activity during the Nucleolar Persistence Phenomenon in the Spermatogenesis of Triatomines (Hemiptera, Triatominae).

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Instituto de Biociências Letras e Ciências Exatas, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), São José do Rio Preto, Brazil.
Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP), Araraquara, Brazil.


The subfamily Triatominae currently consists of 154 species, most of them being of great importance for public health because they are considered potential vectors of the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiologic agent of Chagas disease. In addition to their epidemiological importance, these insects are considered important biological models for cell studies because they have peculiar characteristics in their cells, for example, persistence of the nucleolus during spermatogenesis. This phenomenon is characterized by the presence of the nucleolus or nucleolar corpuscles during all phases of meiosis. To date, all knowledge is restricted to the study of the presence/absence of the nucleolus during the triatomine meiosis, so the present work aimed to analyze if this persistent nucleolar material has transcriptional activity. Analysis of the meiotic metaphases of Rhodnius montenegrensis and Panstrongylus megistus by using fluorochrome acridine orange made it possible to characterize the presence of RNA in the nucleolar material. Thus, it was demonstrated, for the first time, that the persistent nucleolar material during triatomine meiosis is transcriptionally active, supporting the hypothesis of the relationship between nucleolar persistence during meiosis of these insects and the formation of the chromoid body, an organelle responsible for the support of all transcriptional activities during spermiogenesis.


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