Meiotic segregation and post-meiotic drive of the Festuca pratensis B chromosome

R. Ebrahimzadegan, J. Fuchs, J. Chen, V. Schubert, A. Meister, A. Houben and G. Mirzaghaderi,  Chromosome Research,  31:26. 2023.

In many species, the transmission of B chromosomes (Bs) does not follow the Mendelian laws of equal segregation and independent assortment. This deviation results in transmission rates of Bs higher than 0.5, a process known as “chromosome drive”. Here, we studied the behavior of the 103 Mbp-large B chromosome of Festuca pratensis during all meiotic and mitotic stages of microsporogenesis. Mostly, the B chromosome of F. pratensis segregates during meiosis like standard A chromosomes (As). In some cases, the B passes through meiosis in a non-Mendelian segregation leading to their accumulation already in meiosis. However, a true drive of the B happens during the first pollen mitosis, by which the B preferentially migrates to the generative nucleus. During second pollen mitosis, B divides equally between the two sperms. Despite some differences in the frequency of drive between individuals with different numbers of Bs, at least 82% of drive was observed. Flow cytometry-based quantification of B-containing sperm nuclei agrees with the FISH data.

More related to this: