The B chromosome polymorphism of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans in North Africa: III. mutation rate of B chromosomes.Heredity (Edinb). 2004 May; 92(5):428-33.H
B chromosome variation in nine Moroccan populations of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans was analysed for 3 consecutive years. In addition to B1, which was the predominant B chromosome in all nine populations, we found 15 other B variants, albeit at very low frequency. Eight variants were found in adults caught in the wild, four appeared in adults reared in the laboratory and seven were found in embryo progeny of controlled crosses between a 0B male and a B-carrying female. Some variants were found in more than one kind of material. At least the seven B variants that appeared in embryo progeny of females carrying a different B type arose de novo through mutation of the maternal B chromosome. The mutation rate of B chromosomes was 0.73%, on average, which explains the high variety of morphs and banding patterns found. The most frequent de novo mutations observed in these chromosomes were centromere misdivision with or without chromatid nondisjunction, which generates iso-B-chromosomes or telocentric Bs, respectively, as well as translocations with A and B chromosomes and deletions. But the whole variation observed, including that found in adult individuals, suggests that other mutations such as duplications, inversions and centric fusions do usually affect B chromosomes. Finally, B chromosome mutation rate was remarkably similar in both Moroccan and Spanish populations, which suggests that it might be dependent on B chromosome intrinsic factors.