Protein-coding genes in B chromosomes of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans.Sci Rep. 2017 04 03; 7:45200.SR
For many years, parasitic B chromosomes have been considered genetically inert elements. Here we show the presence of ten protein-coding genes in the B chromosome of the grasshopper Eyprepocnemis plorans. Four of these genes (CIP2A, GTPB6, KIF20A, and MTG1) were complete in the B chromosome whereas the six remaining (CKAP2, CAP-G, HYI, MYCB2, SLIT and TOP2A) were truncated. Five of these genes (CIP2A, CKAP2, CAP-G, KIF20A, and MYCB2) were significantly up-regulated in B-carrying individuals, as expected if they were actively transcribed from the B chromosome. This conclusion is supported by three truncated genes (CKAP2, CAP-G and MYCB2) which showed up-regulation only in the regions being present in the B chromosome. Our results indicate that B chromosomes are not so silenced as was hitherto believed. Interestingly, the five active genes in the B chromosome code for functions related with cell division, which is the main arena where B chromosome destiny is played. This suggests that B chromosome evolutionary success can lie on its gene content.