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A comparative chromosome study by means of g banding c banding and nor banding of the weasel mustela nivalis vulgaris the pygmy weasel mustela nivalis nivalis and the stoat mustela erminea carnivora mammalia



A comparative chromosome study by means of g banding c banding and nor banding of the weasel mustela nivalis vulgaris the pygmy weasel mustela nivalis nivalis and the stoat mustela erminea carnivora mammalia



Hereditas 93(1): 75-84



The karyotypes of 9 weasels (M. nivalis vulgaris), 7 pygmy weasels (M. nivalis nivalis) and 11 stoats (M. erminea) were studied. G-, C- and NOR[nucleolus organizer region]-banding revealed distinct similarities between the species/subspecies. The 2 weasel forms have 2n = 42 and identical karyotypes, the stoat has 2n = 44. The weasel karyotypes differ from the karyotype of the stoat by 1 centric fusion and by the addition of large blocks of constitutive heterochromatin to the short arms of 7 chromosome pairs. Only 1 chromosome pair in each species has a NOR. Aberrant karyotypes were seen in 1 weasel and 1 stoat. The weasel had extra chromosome material of unknown origin added to 1 chromosome, the stoat had 2n = 43 due to centric fusion of 2 + (telocentric) chromosomes. The species problem in Scandinavian weasels and karyotype evolution in the Mustelinae are discussed.

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