Sex chromosomes behavior and G-banding treatment of male meiosis in nuptial gift-giving spiders of the family Trechaleidae


Correspondence: Maria J. Albo, Laboratorio de Etología, Ecología y Evolución, Instituto de Investigaciones Biológicas Clemente Estable, Avenida Italia 3318, CP 11600, Montevideo, Uruguay.


Preliminary genetic studies in Trechaleidae spider family show high variation in sex chromosomes and high heterocigocity, suggesting high chromatin plasticity. The trechaleids Paratrechalea ornata, Trechalea bucculenta and Trechaleoides biocellata are present in Uruguay. Males offering nuptial gifts during courtship have been reported in P. ornata and T. bucculenta but not in T. biocellata. Nuptial gifts are an inherited trait probably highly affected by environmental factors, which play an important role in gene expression. We hypothesize that this trait could be associated with tissue-specific genes existing in G-bands. We investigate the male meiosis in these 3 species, their sex chromosome system and the effects of G-banding on their chromosomes, and elucidate genetic differences among them. Meiotic stages of the 3 species were submitted to Giemsa-staining and G-banding treatments. We observed a haploid number of n= 11 in P. ornata and n= 13 in both T. bucculenta and T. biocellata. Males from the 3 species presented an X1X20 sex chromosome system, which is suggested as ancestral in Araneae. In P. ornata and T. bucculenta, both sex chromosomes were together and aligned in parallel until the segregation during anaphase I. In contrast to these species, sex chromosomes of T. biocellata usually remained distant from each other until diakinesis when they were observed associated in parallel disposition. Interstitial G-bands were similar in P. ornata and T. bucculenta, and they both differed from those in T. biocellata. The special behavior of sex chromosomes in T. biocellata as well as the different G-banding pattern of this species suggests the existence of novel modifications in this species.