About 50 copies of a long-range repeat DNA family with a repeat size of roughly 100 kb and with sequence homology to mRNAs are clustered in the G-light band D of chromosome 1 of the house mouse, Mus musculus. We studied amplified versions of the cluster which are found in many wild populations of M. musculus. They are cytogenetically conspicuous as one or two C-band positive homogeneously staining regions (single- and double band HSRs) which increase the mitotic length of chromosome 1. The double band HSR was phylogenetically derived from a single band HSR by a paracentric inversion. In homozygous condition, such HSRs contribute, albeit not as much as expected from their mitotic length, to the synaptonemal complex (SC) length of chromosome 1. In HSR heterozygous animals an elongation of the SCs was not noticeable. In single band HSR heterozygous males, synapsis proceeds regularly and continuously from the distal telomere towards the centromeric end without forming buckles. Thus, the single band HSR has no adverse effect on pairing. The same straight pairing behaviour was found in the majority of double band HSR heterozygous spermatocytes. This shows that extensive nonhomologous pairing can take place in the earliest phase of synapsis. Synapsis was discontinuous, leaving the central part of the bivalent 1 asynapsed, in only 14.3% of double band HSR heterozygous cells. In such cells the chromosome 1 SC is completed at a later stage of meiosis. The delay is presumably an effect of the inversion that includes one HSR band and the segment between the two HSR bands.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)