Meiotic chromosome missegregation during apyrene meiosis in the gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, is preceded by an aberrant prophase I.

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Cell-Nucleolus, Chromatin, Chromosome-Segregation, Histones, Male, Meiosis, Microtubules, Mitotic-Spindle-Apparatus, Moths, Nuclear-Proteins, Phosphorylation, Prophase, Spermatocytes

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Chromosoma 2002 Sep; 111(3):139-46.


The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, produces two structurally and genetically distinct types of spermatozoa. The eupyrene spermatozoa are genetically haploid and structurally typical. The apyrene spermatozoa are anucleate and structurally different from eupyrene spermatozoa. To understand further the events contributing to meiotic chromosome missegregation in apyrene spermatocytes, we examined the progression of meiosis in these cells with respect to their eupyrene counterparts. Chromosomal bouquet formation and fusion of nucleolar organizing regions are disrupted in apyrene nuclei. In addition, the chromatin of apyrene nuclei is prematurely and extremely condensed compared with that of eupyrene nuclei. An antibody to the conserved synaptonemal complex protein 3 (SCP3) labeled eupyrene pachytene chromosomes, but not apyrene pachytene chromosomes. In addition, apyrene meiotic spindles are missing a subset of microtubules, which likely include kinetochore microtubules. Because the condensation behavior of meiotic chromatin in apyrene spermatocytes deviates from that of eupyrene spermatocytes, we examined the appearance and distribution of the phosphorylated form of histone H3, but no significant differences in histone H3 phosphorylation were found between apyrene and eupyrene spermatocytes. We argue that because a pachytene checkpoint is not initiated in apyrene spermatocytes, this system may provide a way to understand better the underlying biochemical connections between pairing, recombination, synapsis, kinetochore assembly and segregation of chromosomes during meiosis in a higher eukaryote.