Evidence for heterosynaptic pairing of the inverted segment in pericentric inversion heterozygotes of the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). Academic Article uri icon


  • Silver-stained pachytene cells of male deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, which were heterozygous for a naturally occurring pericentric inversion of chromosome 6, were analyzed by light microscopy. The presence of the terminally positioned inversion, involving approximately 30% of the length of chromosome 6, was detected by G-banding. Within the inversion, C-band-positive heterochromatin was restricted to the centromeric region. Silver-staining of spermatocytes revealed the synaptonemal complexes (SCs) of the autosomal bivalents and the X-Y chromosome association. Pachytene cells were scored for the presence of inversion loops corresponding to the pericentric inversion of chromosome 6. Possible loop 6 configurations were detected in less than 1% of the cells examined, the vast majority of cells having regularly formed autosomal SCs similar to those reported for homomorphic chromosome pairs in other rodent species. It appears, therefore, that in these mice the inverted region of chromosome 6 was heterosynaptic throughout pachytene. Heterosynapsis is hypothesized as a mechanism which might obviate the production of duplication and deletion chromatids expected from crossing-over in pericentric inversion loops. The observation of heterosynaptic pairing in the inverted segment and the hypothesis of inversion heterosynapsis as a mechanism averting gametic loss are consistent with the widespread occurrence of pericentric inversion polymorphisms in P maniculatus and the apparent failure of pericentric inversions to genetically isolate populations of this species.

published proceedings

  • Cytogenet Cell Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • Greenbaum, I. F., & Reed, M. J.

citation count

  • 49

complete list of authors

  • Greenbaum, IF||Reed, MJ

publication date

  • January 1984