The details of all cytogenetic abnormalities diagnosed in the Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory (WRGL) since 1967 to the present day have been recorded in the Salisbury Treasury of Interesting Chromosomes (STOIC). From this resource, we identified 137 patients with constitutional autosomal supernumerary marker chromosomes (SMC) ascertained in four principal groups: (i) 37% with abnormal phenotypes; (ii) 7% couples with reproductive difficulties; (iii) 47% antenatal diagnoses and (iv) 9% miscellaneous. Overall, 81 (59%) SMCs were mosaics and 56 (41%) nonmosaics. Of the 109 cases with known parental origins, 70% were de novo, 19% maternally and 11% paternally inherited. The chromosomal origins of 112/137 (82%) of the SMCs have been determined by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). In all, 36/112 (32%) were derived from nonacrocentric autosomes, and 76/112 (68%) from the acrocentric autosomes 13/21, 14, 15 and 22. Of these acrocentric SMCs, 39 (51%) were derived from chromosome 15, so that SMC(15) constituted 39/112 (35%) of all SMCs with known chromosomal origins. The frequencies with which mosaicism was observed varied considerably according to the chromosomal origin of the SMCs and accounted for 8/39 (20%) SMC(15), 13/37 (35%) SMCs from other acrocentrics and 25/36 (69%) of nonacrocentric SMCs. The data were analysed for parental age effects, and only de novo SMC(15)s were found to be associated with a significantly increased maternal age
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