The non-Mendelian behavior of plant B chromosomes

J. Chen, J. A. Birchler and A. Houben,  Chromosome Res,  2022.

B chromosomes, also known as supernumerary chromosomes, are dispensable elements in the genome of many plants, animals, and fungi. Many B chromosomes have evolved one or more drive mechanisms to transmit themselves at a higher frequency than predicted by Mendelian genetics, and these mechanisms counteract the tendency of non-essential genetic elements to be lost over time. The frequency of Bs in a population results from a balance between their effect on host fitness and their transmission rate. Here, we will summarize the findings of the drive process of plant B chromosomes, focusing on maize and rye.

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