DNA amount of X and B chromosomes in the grasshoppers Eyprepocnemis plorans and Locusta migratoria

F. J. Ruiz-Ruano, M. Ruiz-Estévez, J. Rodríguez-Pérez, J. L. López-Pino, J. Cabrero, J. P.M. Camacho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


We analyzed the DNA amount in X and B chromosomes of 2 XX/X0 grasshopper species (Eyprepocnemis plorans and Locusta migratoria), by means of Feulgen image analysis densitometry (FIAD), using previous estimates in L. migratoria as standard (5.89 pg). We first analyzed spermatids of 0B males and found a bimodal distribution of integrated optical densities (IODs), suggesting that one peak corresponded to +X and the other to -X spermatids. The difference between the 2 peaks corresponded to the X chromosome DNA amount, which was 1.28 pg in E. plorans and 0.80 pg in L. migratoria. In addition, the +X peak in E. plorans gave an estimate of the C-value in this species (10.39 pg). We next analyzed diplotene cells from 1B males in E. plorans and +B males in L. migratoria (a species where Bs are mitotically unstable and no integer B number can be defined for an individual) and measured B chromosome IOD relative to X chromosome IOD, within the same cell, taking advantage of the similar degree of condensation for both positively heteropycnotic chromosomes at this meiotic stage. From this proportion, we estimated the DNA amount for 3 different B chromosome variants found in individuals from 3 E. plorans Spanish populations (0.54 pg for B1 from Saladares, 0.51 pg for B2 from Salobreña and 0.64 for B24 from Torrox). Likewise, we estimated the DNA amount of the B chromosome in L. migratoria to be 0.15 pg. To automate measurements, we wrote a GPL3 licensed Python program (pyFIA). We discuss the utility of the present approach for estimating X and B chromosome DNA amount in a variety of situations, and the meaning of the DNA amount estimates for X and B chromosomes in these 2 species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalCytogenetic and Genome Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2011


  • B chromosome
  • DNA quantification
  • Feulgen image analysis densitometry
  • X chromosome


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