Robertsonian (Rb) translocations can be important in speciation as a mechanism of postzygotic isolation between populations. Meiotic non-disjunction, gametogenic impairment, and association of impaired autosomal segments with sex chromosomes have been postulated as mechanisms responsible for reducing fertility in Rb mice. Quantitative histological studies needed to understand the role of Rb fusions in gametogenic impairment are scarce. Most research on Rb mice has analyzed meiotic non-disjunction of laboratory and wild-derived strains, which have complex or simple structural heterozygosity with large numbers of fusions. Using histological multilevel sampling, we examined spermatogenesis in mice from the Rb polymorphism area of Barcelona. We studied four chromosomal groups having: a) one Rb heterozygote fusion and 2n=39, b) one Rb heterozygote fusion and 2n=31, c) three Rb heterozygote fusions without monobrachial homology and with diploid number ranging from 2n=29 to 2n=37, and d) only Rb homozygote fusions with diploid number ranging from 2n=28 to 2n=30. Standard mice from the area surrounding the Rb zone were used as control. We analyzed morphological variables of the testes, relative frequency of stages in the seminiferous epithelium cycle, the 'round spermatids: primary spermatocytes' ratio, and other derived parameters. Our results reveal that structural homozygote mice and simple heterozygote mice having as few as one to three Rb fusions undergo greater germ cell death (GCD) than standard mice, suggesting that Rb fusions are related to increased GCD (in both the heterozygous and homozygous state) and may be the main cause of decreased gene flow between mice populations from this area. © 2010 Society for Reproduction and Fertility.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2010|