The origin of a selfish B chromosome triggering paternal sex ratio in the parasitoid wasp Trichogramma kaykai

J.J.F.A. van Vugt, J.H.S.G.M. de Jong, R. Stouthamer

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15 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses molecular and cytogenetic methods to determine the origin of a B chromosome in some males of the wasp Trichogramma kaykai. This so-called paternal sex ratio (PSR) chromosome transmits only through sperm and shortly after fertilization triggers degeneration of the paternal genome, while keeping itself intact. The resulting embryos develop into haploid B-chromosome-carrying males. Another PSR chromosome with a very similar mode of action is found in the distantly related wasp Nasonia vitripennis and its origin was traced by transposon similarity to the genus Trichomalopsis, which is closely related to Nasonia. To determine whether both PSR chromosomes have a similar origin we aimed to reveal the origin of the Trichogramma PSR chromosome. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization, we discovered a major satellite repeat on the PSR chromosome, the 45S ribosomal DNA. Analysis of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) of this repeat showed the presence of multiple ITS2 sequences on the PSR chromosome resembling either the ITS2 of T. oleae or of T. kaykai. We therefore conclude that the Trichogramma PSR chromosome originates from T. oleae or a T. oleae-like species. Our results are consistent with different origins for the PSR chromosomes in Trichogramma and Nasonia
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4149-4154
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society. B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1676
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • ribosomal-rna genes
  • nasonia-vitripennis
  • brachycome-dichromosomatica
  • insitu hybridization
  • crepis-capillaris
  • dna-sequences
  • evolution
  • parthenogenesis
  • hymenoptera
  • psr

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