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Chromosoma. 2019 Aug 13. doi: 10.1007/s00412-019-00722-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Activity and inactivity of moth sex chromosomes in somatic and meiotic cells.

Author information

1
Institut für Biologie, Zentrum für medizinische Struktur- und Zellbiologie, Universität zu Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538, Lübeck, Germany. traut@bio.uni-luebeck.de.
2
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben, 06466, Seeland, Germany.
3
Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, 370 05, České Budĕjovice, Czech Republic.
4
Laboratory of Applied Entomology, Faculty of Agriculture, Iwate University, Morioka, 020-8550, Japan.

Abstract

Moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) are the most species-rich group of animals with female heterogamety, females mostly having a WZ, males a ZZ sex chromosome constitution. We studied chromatin conformation, activity, and inactivity of the sex chromosomes in the flour moth Ephestia kuehniella and the silkworm Bombyx mori, using immunostaining with anti-H3K9me2/3, anti-RNA polymerase II, and fluoro-uridine (FU) labelling of nascent transcripts, with conventional widefield fluorescence microscopy and 'spatial structured illumination microscopy' (3D-SIM). The Z chromosome is euchromatic in somatic cells and throughout meiosis. It is transcriptionally active in somatic cells and in the postpachaytene stage of meiosis. The W chromosome in contrast is heterochromatic in somatic cells as well as in meiotic cells at pachytene, but euchromatic and transcriptionally active like all other chromosomes at postpachytene. As the W chromosomes are apparently devoid of protein-coding genes, their transcripts must be non-coding. We found no indication of 'meiotic sex chromosome inactivation' (MSCI) in the two species.

KEYWORDS:

Bombyx; Ephestia; Germline-limited activity; Heterochromatin; MSCI; Sex chromatin

PMID:
31410566
DOI:
10.1007/s00412-019-00722-8

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