Karyotype evolution in South American subterranean rodents Ctenomys magellanicus Chromosome rearrangements and n telomeric sequence localization in 2n=34 and 2n=36 chromosomal forms
Lizarralde, M.; Bolzan, A.; Bianchi, M.
Hereditas (Lund) 139(1): 13-17
Ctenomys is the most numerous genus of South American subterranean rodents and one of the most karyotypically diverse clades of mammals known. Ctenomys magellanicus is the southernmost species of the group and the only one living in Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego (Argentina). This species presents two chromosomal forms, i.e. 2n=34, and 2n=36 (FN=68). Recent studies suggest that genetic divergence between both karyotypic forms resulted from a chromosomal speciation process. In order to identify the chromosomal rearrangement involved in the process of karyotype evolution in this species, we used chromosome banding techniques and fluorescence in situ hybridization with a telomeric probe to metaphase chromosomes of the two chromosomal forms of Ctenomys magellanicus. Chromosome analysis of Giemsa-stained and G-banding preparations showed that Cm34 and Cm36 karyotypes differ in one rearrangement involving chromosomes A9 from Cm34 and B12 and B17 from Cm36. In addition FISH analysis showed that all of the chromosomes from both chromosomal forms exhibit a telomeric-only distribution pattern of the (TTAGGG)n sequence, indicating that none of the chromosomal forms of Ctenomys magellanicus has true telocentric chromosomes. Our results suggest that a chromosome fission event would have occurred during the process of karyotype evolution in this species.