Highly conservative pattern of sex chromosome synapsis and recombination in neognathae birds

Anna Torgasheva, Lyubov Malinovskaya, Kira S. Zadesenets, Anastasia Slobodchikova, Elena Shnaider, Nikolai Rubtsov, Pavel Borodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyzed the synapsis and recombination between Z and W chromosomes in the oocytes of nine neognath species: domestic chicken Gallus gallus domesticus, grey goose Anser anser, black tern Chlidonias niger, common tern Sterna hirundo, pale martin Riparia diluta, barn swallow Hirundo rustica, European pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca, great tit Parus major and white wagtail Motacilla alba using immunolocalization of SYCP3, the main protein of the lateral elements of the synaptonemal complex, and MLH1, the mismatch repair protein marking mature recombination nodules. In all species examined, homologous synapsis occurs in a short region of variable size at the ends of Z and W chromosomes, where a single recombination nodule is located. The remaining parts of the sex chromosomes undergo synaptic adjustment and synapse non-homologously. In 25% of ZW bivalents of white wagtail, synapsis and recombination also occur at the secondary pairing region, which probably resulted from autosome−sex chromosome translocation. Using FISH with a paint probe specific to the germline-restricted chromosome (GRC) of the pale martin on the oocytes of the pale martin, barn swallow and great tit, we showed that both maternally inherited songbird chromosomes (GRC and W) share common sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1358
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • Avian sex chromosomes
  • Crossing over
  • MLH1
  • Recombination nodules
  • SYCP3
  • Synaptonemal complex




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