Nucleolar persistence during spermatogenesis of the genus Rhodnius (Hemiptera, Triatominae)
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The Triatominae subfamily is comprised of 18 genera and six tribes. The tribe Rhodniini is comprised of two genera (Rhodnius and Psammolestes). Nucleolar persistence is defined by the presence of the nucleolus or nucleolar corpuscles during the meiotic metaphase. To date, this phenomenon has been described for 13 species of triatomine that are included in the genera Triatoma, Rhodnius, and Panstrongylus. Thus, because the phenomenon of nucleolar persistence has been described in only two species of the genus Rhodnius, we have analyzed the nucleolar behavior during spermatogenesis of eight species of the genus Rhodnius (R. colombiensis, R. montenegrensis, R. nasutus, R. neglectus, R. neivai, R. pictipes, R. prolixus, and R. robustus), with a focus on nucleolar persistence. By means of cytogenetic analysis with silver ions, nucleolar behavior during spermatogenesis is described in the eight species of Rhodnius analyzed. In all of them nucleolar behavior was similar and the phenomenon of nucleolar persistence was often observed. Therefore, we confirm nucleolar persistence as a peculiarity of the genus Rhodnius. However, it is emphasized that new cytogenetic analysis should be performed in the Triatominae subfamily, more specifically among the 15 genera that do not exhibit the nucleolar behavior described, in order to assess whether this phenomenon is truly a synapomorphy of these hematophagous insects.
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