Comparative analysis of micro B and macro B chromosomes of the Korean field mouse Apodemus peninsulae, collected in populations from Siberia and the Russian Far East, was performed with Giemsa, DAPI, Ag-NOR staining and chromosome painting with whole and partial chromosome probes generated by microdissection and DOP-PCR. DNA composition of micro B chromosomes was different from that of macro B chromosomes. All analyzed micro B chromosomes contained clusters of DNA repeats associated with regions characterized by an uncondensed state in mitosis. Giemsa and DAPI staining did not reveal these regions. Their presence in micro B chromosomes led to their special morphology and underestimation in size. DNA repeat clusters homologous to DNA of micro B chromosome arms were also revealed in telomeric regions of some macro B chromosomes of specimens captured in Siberian regions. Neither active NORs nor clusters of ribosomal DNA were found in the uncondensed regions of micro B chromosomes. Possible evolutionary pathways for the origin of macro and micro B chromosomes are discussed.   

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