Population cytology of the genus Phaulacridium Academic Article uri icon


  • Ten of the 27 populations of Phaulacridium marginale collected from South Island, New Zealand, during the 1973 meiotic season were polymorphic for extra heterochromatin. This was present either as B chromosomes or as super-numerary segments on the shortest autosomes. In some populations both polymorphisms were present simultaneously, sometimes at high frequencies. Three different types of B chromosome were seen; large telocentric, small telocentric and small metacentric isochromosomes though only one type was seen in any one population. Segments on the telocentric S9 and S10 chromosomes were located distally. On the S11 chromosome, however, the extra segment was present as a short arm, thus making the chromosome submetacentric. This latter situation is similar to that in the related species Ph vittatum. The frequency of B's in the OM population appeared to be stable over years and there was no indication of any meiotic "drive" or "drag" in the males. The frequency of occurrence of B chromosomes in a population correlated negatively with annual rainfall (low B frequencies in regions of high rainfall). Neither type of extra heterochromatin had any significant effect on either mean cell chiasma frequency or on log variance of this metric. Possible synergism between B's and segments is discussed from the preliminary analysis of the OM population. The probable origins and age of the polymorphisms are discussed in detail.

publication date

  • February 1975