Partial deletions of the W chromosome due to reciprocal translocation in the silkworm Bombyx mori

H. Abe, M. Seki, F. Ohbayashi, N. Tanaka, J. Yamashita, T. Fujii, T. Yokoyama, M. Takahashi, Y. Banno, K. Sahara, A. Yoshido, J. Ihara, Y. Yasukochi, K. Mita, M. Ajimural, M. G. Suzuki, T. Oshiki, T. Shimada

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25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the silkworm, Bombyx mori (female, ZW; male, ZZ), femaleness is determined by the presence of a single W chromosome, irrespective of the number of autosomes or Z chromosomes.The W chromosome is devoid of functional genes, except the putative female-determining gene (Fem). However, there are strains in which chromosomal fragments containing autosomal markers have been translocated on to W. In this study, we analysed the W chromosomal regions of the Zebra-W strain (T(W;3)Ze chromosome) and the Black-egg-W strain (T(W;10)+w-2 chromosome) at the molecular level. Initially, we undertook a project to identify W-specific RAPD markers, in addition to the three already established W-specific RAPD markers (W-Kabuki, W-Samurai and W-Kamikaze). Following the screening of 3648 arbitrary 10-mer primers, we obtained nine W-specific RAPD marker sequences (W-Bonsai, W-Mikan, W-Musashi, W-Rikishi, W-Sakura, W-Sasuke, W-Yukemuri-L, W-Yukemuri-S and BMC1-Kabuki), almost all of which contained the border regions of retrotransposons, namely portions of nested retrotransposons. We confirmed the presence of eleven out of twelve W-specific RAPD markers in the normal W chromosomes of twentyfive silkworm strains maintained in Japan.These results indicate that the W chromosomes of the strains in Japan are almost identical in type.The Zebra-W strain (T(W;3)Ze chromosome) lacked the W-Samurai and W-Mikan RAPD markers and the Black-egg-W strain (T(W;10)+w-2 chromosome) lacked the W-Mikan RAPD marker.These results strongly indicate that the regions containing the W-Samurai and W-Mikan RAPD markers or the W-Mikan RAPD marker were deleted in the T(W;3)Ze and T(W;10)+w-2 chromosomes, respectively, due to reciprocal translocation between the W chromosome and the autosome. This deletion apparently does not affect the expression of Fem; therefore, this deleted region of the W chromosome does not contain the putative Fem gene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
JournalInsect Molecular Biology
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Insect Science

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