Trisomy and triploidy, defined as the presence of a third copy of one or all chromosomes, respectively, are deleterious in many species including humans. Previous studies have demonstrated that Caenorhabditis elegans with a third copy of the X chromosome are viable and fertile. However, the extra X chromosome was shown to preferentially segregate into the first polar body during oocyte meiosis to produce a higher frequency of euploid offspring than would be generated by random segregation. Here, we demonstrate that extra autosomes are preferentially eliminated by triploid C. elegans and trisomy IV C. elegans. Live imaging of anaphase-lagging chromosomes and analysis of REC-8 staining of metaphase II spindles revealed that, in triploids, some univalent chromosomes do not lose cohesion and preferentially segregate intact into the first polar body during anaphase I, whereas other autosomes segregate chromatids equationally at anaphase I and eliminate some of the resulting single chromatids during anaphase II. We also demonstrate asymmetry in the anaphase spindle, which may contribute to the asymmetric segregation. This study reveals a pathway that allows aneuploid parents to produce euploid offspring at higher than random frequency.
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