The presence of a parachute sex chromosome bivalent (Xyp) at metaphase I of male meiosis is a well-known characteristic of Coleoptera, present in almost all families of this order and assumed to represent their ancestral sex chromosome formula. Sex chromosomes appear to be manifold more frequently involved in inter-chromosomal rearrangements than the average of the nine autosomal pairs usually forming their karyotype. This leads to various formulae such as neo-sex, multiple sex and perhaps unique sex chromosomes. These rearrangements alter the intimate association between sex chromosomes and nucleolar proteins, which are usual components of the Xyp. Different situations, selected in a series of 125 mitotic and meiotic cytogenetic studies of Polyphaga beetle species, are reported and discussed, with the aim to improve our knowledge on the mechanisms of sex chromosome rearrangements, the relationships with nucleoli and the consequences on dosage compensation and chromosome segregation.

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