Karyotypes diversity in some Iranian Pamphagidae grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Acridoidea, Pamphagidae): new insights on the evolution of the neo-XY sex chromosomes

Comp Cytogenet. 2020 Nov 10;14(4):549-566. doi: 10.3897/compcytogen.v14.i4.53688. eCollection 2020.


For the first time, cytogenetic features of grasshoppers from Iran have been studied. In this paper we conducted a comparative cytogenetic analysis of six species from the family Pamphagidae. The species studied belong to subfamilies Thrinchinae Stål, 1876 (Eremopeza bicoloripes (Moritz, 1928), E. saussurei (Uvarov, 1918)) and Pamphaginae (Saxetania paramonovi (Dirsh, 1927), Tropidauchen escalerai Bolívar, 1912, Tropidauchen sp., and Paranothrotes citimus Mistshenko, 1951). We report information about the chromosome number and morphology, C-banding patterns, and localization of ribosomal DNA clusters and telomeric (TTAGG)n repeats. Among these species, only S. paramonovi had an ancestral Pamphagidae karyotype (2n=18+X0♂; FN=19♂). The karyotypes of the remaining species differed from the ancestral karyotypes. The karyotypes of E. bicoloripes and E. saussurei, despite having the same chromosome number (2n=18+X0♂) had certain biarmed chromosomes (FN=20♂ and FN=34♂ respectively). The karyotypes of T. escalerai and Tropidauchen sp. consisted of eight pairs of acrocentric autosomes, one submetacentric neo-X chromosome and one acrocentric neo-Y chromosome in males (2n=16+neo-X neo-Y♂). The karyotype of P. citimus consisted of seven pairs of acrocentric autosomes, submetacentric the neo-X1 and neo-Y and acrocentric the neo-X2 chromosomes (2n=14+neo-X1 neo-X2 neo-Y♂). Comparative analysis of the localization and size of C-positive regions, the position of ribosomal clusters and the telomeric DNA motif in the chromosomes of the species studied, revealed early unknown features of their karyotype evolution. The data obtained has allowed us to hypothesize that the origin and early phase of evolution of the neo-Xneo-Y♂ sex chromosome in the subfamily Pamphaginae, are linked to the Iranian highlands.

Keywords: C-banding; FISH; Pamphagidae grasshoppers; karyotypes; neo-sex chromosomes; ribosomal DNA repeats; telomeric repeat (TTAGG)n.