U1 snDNA chromosomal mapping in ten spittlebug species (Cercopidade, Auchenorrhyncha, Hemiptera)
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Spittlebugs, which belong to the family Cercopidae (Auchenorrhyncha, Hemiptera), form a large group of xylemfeeding insects that are best known for causing damage to plantations and pasture grasses. The holocentric chromosomes of these insects remain poorly studied in regards to the organization of different classes of repetitive DNA. To improve chromosomal maps based on repetitive DNAs and to better understand the chromosomal organization and evolutionary dynamics of multigene families in spittlebugs, we physically mapped the U1 snRNA gene with fluorescence in situ hybridization ( FISH) in 10 species of Cercopidae belonging to three different genera. All the U1 snDNA clusters were autosomal and located in interstitial position. In seven species, they were restricted to one autosome per haploid genome, while three species of the genus Mahanarva showed two clusters in two different autosomes. Although it was not possible to precisely define the ancestral location of this gene, it was possible to observe the presence of at least one cluster located in a small bivalent in all karyotypes. The karyotype stability observed in Cercopidae is also observed in respect to the distribution of U1 snDNA. Our data are discussed in light of possible mechanisms for U1 snDNA conservation and compared with the available data from other species.