B chromosomes are genomic "intruders" normally characterized by their total dispensability counteracted by a variety of drive mechanisms, which assures their presence regardless of their harmful effects on the host genome. From an evolutionary standpoint, the relationship between standard (A) and B chromosomes can go through different pathways, from an everlasting arms race to a cordial B integration. Examples underlying the first situation are fairly common; B integration, however, has been more a theoretical than a practical possibility. The B chromosome in the haplodiploid solitary wasp Trypoxylon albitarse is probably the first example of a "mimetic" B, which is being integrated into the A genome by limiting itself to one B per haploid genome, the same dosage as the A chromosomes. Here we review some of the findings underlying this hypothesis and discuss the T. albitarse B strategy as a possible mechanism for B chromosome integration as a regular member of the chromosome complement in haplodiploid organisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology