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Genome. 1997 Dec;40(6):829-33.

Pattern of X-Y chromosome pairing in the Japanese field vole, Microtus montebelli.

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Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Novosibirsk, Russia.


Pairing of X and Y chromosomes at meiotic prophase in males of Microtus montebelli was analyzed. The sex chromosomes form a synaptonemal complex at pachytene and end-to-end association at diakinesis-metaphase I in two species of the genus Microtus (M. montebelli and M. oeconomus) only, while they do not pair at all in the other species of this genus that have been studied so far. These data confirm that M. montebelli and M. oeconomus are very closely related in their origin. It is suggested that the sex chromosomes of M. montebelli and M. oeconomus display the ancestral type of X-Y pairing. The lack of X-Y pairing in most species of Microtus appeared after the split in lineage that led to M. oeconomus and M. montebelli on the one hand and the remaining species on the other.

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