Evidence for dosage compensation in parthenogenetic Hymenoptera

Chromosoma. 1977 Feb 23;59(4):323-40. doi: 10.1007/BF00327973.


Amounts of DNA-Feulgen staining in individual somatic nuclei and mature sperm of the parthenogenetic wasps, Habrobracon juglandis, H. serinopae, and Mormoniella vitripennis, were determined with a scanning microdensitometer. The haploid genome for both species of Habrobracon was estimated to be 0.15-0.16 X 10-(12) gDNA, corresponding to a molecular weight of roughly 10 X10(10) daltons. The haploid genome of M. vitripennis is approximately twice this value, 0.33-0.34 X 10-(12) g, or about 20X10(10) daltons. Measurements made on dividing nuclei from syncytial preblastoderm embryos of H. juglandis and M. viripennis showed that the chromosomes of impaternate males were present in the haploid number and contained the C amount of DNA; whereas nuclei from female preblastoderm embryos contained the diploid number of chromosomes and the 2C amount of DNA. However, hemocyte and brain cell nuclei from either male or female adult wasps contained 2C and 4C amounts of DNA. Both sexes also showed equivalent levels of polyploidy (8C, 16C, or 32C) in Malpighian tubule nuclei. Therefore, in these parthenogenetic species,, a mechanism must exist the compensates during later development for the initial two-fold difference in the chromatin content of somatic nuclei in haploid male and diploid female embryos. Hemocytes from impaternate Mormoniella diploid males and triploid females contain the 2C and 3C amounts of DNA, respectively Therefore dosage compensation involves an additional cycle of DNA replication only in hapoid cells, and it insures that a certain minimum quantity of DNA is received by each somatic cell.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA Replication
  • Female
  • Hymenoptera*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Parthenogenesis*
  • Ploidies
  • Sex Chromosomes
  • Wasps*


  • DNA