B chromosomes (Bs) are dispensable components of the genome exhibiting non-Mendelian inheritance. Chromosome counts and flow cytometric analysis of the grass species Aegilops speltoides revealed a tissue-type specific distribution of the roughly 570 Mbp large B chromosomes. To address the question whether organelle-to-nucleus DNA transfer is a mechanism that drives the evolution of Bs, in situ hybridization was performed with labelled organellar DNA. The observed B-specific accumulation of chloroplast- and mitochondria-derived sequences suggests a reduced selection against the insertion of organellar DNA in supernumerary chromosomes. The distribution of B-localised organellar-derived sequences and other sequences differs between genotypes of different geographical origins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)