Sex chromosome diversity in Armenian toad grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea, Pamphagidae).
Although previous cytogenetic analysis of Pamphagidae grasshoppers pointed to considerable karyotype uniformity among most of the species in the family, our study of species from Armenia has discovered other, previously unknown karyotypes, differing from the standard for Pamphagidae mainly in having unusual sets of sex chromosomes. Asiotmethis turritus (Fischer von Waldheim, 1833), Paranocaracris rubripes (Fischer von Waldheim, 1846), and Nocaracris cyanipes (Fischer von Waldheim, 1846) were found to have the karyotype 2n♂=16+neo-XY and 2n♀=16+neo-XX, the neo-X chromosome being the result of centromeric fusion of an ancient acrocentric X chromosome and a large acrocentric autosome. The karyotype of Paranothrotes opacus (Brunner von Wattenwyl, 1882) was found to be 2n♂=14+X1X2Y and 2n♀=14+X1X1X2X2., the result of an additional chromosome rearrangement involving translocation of the neo-Y and another large autosome. Furthermore, evolution of the sex chromosomes in these species has involved different variants of heterochromatinization and miniaturization of the neo-Y. The karyotype of Eremopeza festiva (Saussure, 1884), in turn, appeared to have the standard sex determination system described earlier for Pamphagidae grasshoppers, 2n♂=18+X0 and 2n♀=18+XX, but all the chromosomes of this species were found to have small second C-positive arms. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with 18S rDNA and telomeric (TTAGG)n DNA repeats to yield new data on the structural organization of chromosomes in the species studied, we found that for most of them, clusters of repeats homologous to 18S rDNA localize on two, three or four pairs of autosomes and on the X. In Eremopeza festiva, however, FISH with labelled 18S rDNA painted C-positive regions of all autosomes and the X chromosome; clusters of telomeric repeats localized primarily on the ends of the chromosome arms. Overall, we conclude that the different stages of neo-Y degradation revealed in the Pamphagidae species studied make the family a very promising and useful model for studying sex chromosome evolution.
Digital object identifier (DOI): 10.3897/CompCytogen.v10i1.6407