Krasikova A., Daks A., Zlotina A., Gaginskaya E. Polymorphic heterochromatic segments in Japanese quail microchromosomes. Cytogenetics and Genome Research. - 2009. - V. 126. - P.148-155


Using highly extended lampbrush chromosomes from diplotene oocytes, we have examined the distribution of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1 ) and histone H3 modifications on chicken (Gallus gallus) and Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) (2n = 78) microchromosomes. Acrocentric microchromosomes of chicken and submetacentric microchromosomes of quail differ in several morphological features. In addition to pericentromeric and subtelomeric blocks of constitutive heterochromatin, which are enriched in HP1 protein and repressive histone modifications, not completely condensed but heterochromatic segments were found to be an attribute of the short arms of submetacentric microchromosomes in Japanese quail. These heterochromatic regions are variable in length and do not form chiasmata in female germ cells. Dissimilarity in the centromere positions in chicken and Japanese quail microchromosomes is proposed to be due to the accumulation of repetitive sequences on the short arms of quail microchromosomes. Transcriptional activation of polymorphic heterochromatic segments of quail microchromosomes during the lampbrush stage is demonstrated.