Data published in the scientific literature suggests a possible link between chromosomal rearrangements involving autosomes 1 and 3 and the presence of red morphs in the peach-potato aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer). In order to begin a study of this relationship, we analysed the genomic and chromosomal location of genes involved in carotenoid biosynthesis in M. persicae and the pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), since carotenoids are the basis of the colour in many aphid species. Genomic analysis identified a DNA sequence containing carotenoid genes in synteny between the 2 species. According to the results obtained using in situ PCR, carotenoid genes were located in a subterminal portion of autosome 1 in both species. The same localization has also been observed in the onion aphid Neotoxoptera formosana Takahashi that, as M. persicae and A. pisum, belongs to the tribe Macrosiphini, thereby suggesting a synteny of this chromosomal region in aphids. In situ PCR experiments performed on 2 M. persicae asexual lineages bearing heterozygous translocations involving autosomes 1 and 3 revealed that carotenoid genes were located within chromosomal portions involved in recurrent rearrangements. We also verified by bioinformatics analyses the presence of fragile sites that could explain these recurrent rearrangements in M. persicae.

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