The chromosomes of Diprion pini and D. similis (Hymenoptera: Diprionidae): implications for karyotype evolution

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Earlier cytological investigations characterize the family Diprionidae with a modal chromosome number of seven. This study shows that Diprion pini and D. similis have 14 acrocentric chromosomes (n = 14 for haploid males and 2n = 28 for diploid females). In D. pini, rRNA genes are located on the satellite and the round short arm of the chromosome carrying this segment. We studied six populations with no evidence of chromosomal polymorphism at the species level. Our results disagree with those published previously and reopen the question of karyotype evolution. Chromosome morphology, ISH and C-banding results support the hypothesis of chromosome number doubling by centric fission and not by polyploidization, followed by the growth of short arms by means of pericentromeric DNA amplification.

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