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Chromosome structure and behaviour in Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (Nematoda: Parasitaphelenchidae) germ cells and early embryo

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For more content, see Nematologica.

Chromosome structure and behaviour in both meiosis of the germ cells and mitosis of the embryo from fertilisation to the two-cell stage in Bursaphelenchus xylophilus were examined by DAPI staining and three-dimensional reconstruction of serial-section images from confocal laser-scanning microscopy. By this method, each chromosome's shape and behaviour were clearly visible in early embryogenesis from fertilisation through the formation and fusion of the male and female pronuclei to the first mitotic division. The male pronucleus was bigger than that of the female, although the oocyte is larger and richer in nutrients than the sperm. From the shape of the separating chromosomes at anaphase, the mitotic chromosomes appeared to be polycentric or holocentric rather than monocentric. Each chromosome was clearly distinguishable in the male and female germ cells, pronuclei of the one-cell stage embryo, and the early embryonic nuclei. The haploid number of chromosomes (N) was six (2n = 12), and all chromosomes appeared similar. The chromosome pair containing the ribosomal RNA-coding site was visualised by fluorescence in situ hybridisation. Unlike the sex determination system in Caenorhabditis elegans (XX in hermaphrodite and XO in male), the system for B. xylophilus may consist of an XX female and an XY male.


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