Cytogenetics of collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus). II. Meiotic behavior of B chromosomes suggests a Y-chromosome origin of supernumerary chromosomes. Academic Article uri icon


  • The patterns of synapsis and chiasma formation of the B chromosomes of male collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx groenlandicus) were analyzed by light and electron microscopy and compared to expectations for various hypotheses for the intragenomic origin of supernumerary chromosomes. Pachytene analysis revealed a variety of synaptic configurations including B-chromosome univalents, bivalents and trivalents. In approximately one-half of the pachytene nuclei examined, B chromosomes were in synaptic associations with the normally unpaired portion of the Y chromosome. The B-chromosome configurations at pachynema, including those involving the Y chromosome, were maintained into diakinesis and metaphase I. The meiotic behavior of the B chromosomes was inconsistent with their derivation from centric-fusion products, isochromosome formation, small-autosome polysomy, or the X chromosome. However, the frequent synapsis and apparent recombination between B chromosomes and the Y chromosome implicate this sex chromosome as a possible source of the B chromosomes in collared lemmings.

published proceedings

  • Cytogenet Cell Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • Berend, S. A., Hale, D. W., Engstrom, M. D., & Greenbaum, I. F.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Berend, SA||Hale, DW||Engstrom, MD||Greenbaum, IF

publication date

  • December 2001