An X-autosome fusion chromosome of Caenorhabditis elegans

Mol Gen Genet. 1986 Feb;202(2):212-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00331639.


The translocation mnT12(IV;X) is a fusion of holocentric chromosomes IV and X, the breakpoints occurring near the left end of IV and the right end of X. Animals homozygous for mnT12 are viable and fertile; they contain five pairs of chromosomes rather than the normal set of six pairs. The mnT12 chromosome is larger than all wild-type chromosomes and thus identifies linkage groups IV and X cytologically. Hermaphrodites heterozygous for mnT12 show high frequency meiotic nondisjunction both between mnT12 and the X chromosome, which results in a high incidence of male self progeny (27% compared to the wild-type incidence of 0.2%), and between mnT12 and chromosome IV, which results in a high incidence of self progeny essentially trisomic for chromosome IV (karyotype IV/mnT12/mnT12). The viability of chromosome IV trisomics has been confirmed by constructing animals trisomic for only normal copies of chromosome IV; these animals are morphologically wild type. Meiotic chromosome disjunction in mnT12 homozygotes appears to be normal, although the frequency of recombination between markers that are normally X-linked is significantly reduced. Males of genotype IV/mnT12/0 are fertile. They can be thought of as having a neo-X(mnT12) neo-Y(normal IV) karyotype since it is possible to maintain a male-hermaphrodite stock of C. elegans consisting of such males and hermaphrodites carrying two neo-X chromosomes and no neo-Y; the organism is thus converted from an XO:XX type of sex determination to an XY:XX system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis / genetics*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes / physiology*
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genotype
  • Homozygote
  • Translocation, Genetic
  • X Chromosome / physiology*