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Chromosome Res. 2014 Dec;22(4):545-57. doi: 10.1007/s10577-014-9443-7. Epub 2014 Nov 11.

Aneuploidy in spermatids of Robertsonian (Rb) chromosome heterozygous mice.

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Programa Genética Humana, ICBM, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Rb translocations are chromosomal rearrangements frequently found in natural populations of the house mouse Mus musculus domesticus. The standard diploid karyotype of the house mouse consisting of 40 telocentric chromosomes may be reduced by the emergence of metacentric Rb chromosomes. Multiple simple Rb heterozygotes form trivalents exhibiting higher anaphase nondisjunction frequency and consequently higher number of unbalanced gametes than in normal males. This work will attempt to establish whether frequencies of aneuploidy observed in heterozygote spermatids of the house mouse M. musculus domesticus show differences in chromosomes derived from different trivalents. Towards this goal, the number and distribution frequency of aneuploidy was assessed via FISH staining of specific chromosomes of spermatids derived from 2n = 32 individuals. Our results showed that for a given set of target chromosomes, 90% of the gametes were balanced, resulting from alternate segregation, and that there were no differences (approx. 10%) in aneuploidy frequencies in chromosomes derived from different trivalents. These observations suggest that segregation effectiveness does not depend on the type of chromosomes involved in trivalents. As a consequence of the trivalent's configuration, joint segregation of the telocentric chromosomes occurs thus favoring their appearance together in early spermatids. Our data suggest that Rb chromosomes and their telocentric homologs are subject to architectural constraints placing them close to each other. This proximity may ultimately facilitate fusion between them, hence contributing to a prevalence of Rb metacentric chromosomes.

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