Centromere inactivation on a neo-Y fusion chromosome in threespine stickleback fish

Chromosome Res. 2016 Dec;24(4):437-450. doi: 10.1007/s10577-016-9535-7. Epub 2016 Aug 23.


Having one and only one centromere per chromosome is essential for proper chromosome segregation during both mitosis and meiosis. Chromosomes containing two centromeres are known as dicentric and often mis-segregate during cell division, resulting in aneuploidy or chromosome breakage. Dicentric chromosome can be stabilized by centromere inactivation, a process which reestablishes monocentric chromosomes. However, little is known about this process in naturally occurring dicentric chromosomes. Using a combination of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunofluorescence combined with FISH (IF-FISH) on metaphase chromosome spreads, we demonstrate that centromere inactivation has evolved on a neo-Y chromosome fusion in the Japan Sea threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus nipponicus). We found that the centromere derived from the ancestral Y chromosome has been inactivated. Our data further suggest that there have been genetic changes to this centromere in the two million years since the formation of the neo-Y chromosome, but it remains unclear whether these genetic changes are a cause or consequence of centromere inactivation.

Keywords: CENP-A; Centromere inactivation; ChIP-seq; Dicentric chromosome fusion; Gasterosteus aculeatus; Gasterosteus nipponicus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Centromere / genetics*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Metaphase / genetics
  • Smegmamorpha / genetics*
  • Y Chromosome / genetics*