Authors: Asya Davidian, Koshel E.I., Alexander Dyomin, Svetlana Galkina, Alsu Saifitdinova, Elena Gaginskaya
The features of rDNA amplification have been studied in oocytes of the red-eared slider Trachemys scripta using a number of specific histochemical and cytomolecular methods. A single nucleolus in early diplotene oocytes is associated with the nucleolus organizer region (NOR). With oocyte growth, the number of nucleoli increases dramatically and reaches hundreds by the lampbrush chromosome stage (pre-vitellogenesis). RNA-polymerase I, fibrillarin, and PCNA immunodetection in the amplified nucleoli and FISH of the 5’ETS probe to the oocyte nuclear content suggest pre-rRNA and rDNA synthesis in the nucleoli at all stages studied. This implies a continuous reproduction of the nucleoli during oocyte development from early diplotene up to vitellogenesis. The data obtained offer a different way for rDNA amplification and formation of extrachromosomal nucleoli in turtle oocytes compared with the amplified nucleoli formation in amphibian and fish oocytes. In the Sauropsida clade of Archelosauria, which includes turtles, crocodiles, and birds, rDNA function is known to be suppressed in avian oogenesis during the lampbrush stage (Gaginskaya et al. in Cytogenet Genome Res 124:251–267, 2009).