New Ctenomys karyotypes Rodentia, Octodontidae from north-eastern Argentina and from Paraguay confirm the extreme chromosomal multiformity of the genus
Ortells, MO.; Contreras, JR.; Reig, OA.
Genetica (Dordrecht) 823: 189-201
Bone-marrow karyotypes of 68 specimens of the subterranean octodontid rodent genus Ctenomys from 16 different populations of north east Argentina and one from Paraguay have been studied. A surprising variety of chromosome numbers was found, ranging from 2n = 42 to 2n = 70. Some of the karyomorphs are clearly assigned to named species by topotypy: C. conoveris 2n = 50, FN = 56; C. argentinus, 2n = 44, FN = 54; C. perrensi, 2n = 50 FN = 84; C. dorbignyi, 2n = 70, FN = 84; C. roigi, 2n = 48, FN = 80; C. yolandae, 2n = 50, FN = 78. Four populations of Corrientes Province similar in morphology to C. perrensi were found to be polymorphic and polytypic; they maintain the same FN = 84, but diploid numbers increase from 2n = 54 to 2n = 58 from SW to the NE, thus suggesting Robertsonian rearrangements. In the middle of this cline, a stable karyomorph of 2n = 62, FN = 84 was found in two different populations, suggesting to belong to an undescribed species. Another karyomorph of 2n = 42, FN = 76 found in Curuzu Laurel, Corrientes, may also prove to represent another undescribed species. One karyomorph of 2n = 52, FN = 74, and another of 2n = 56, FN = 78 from Parana and Ubajay (Entre Rios Province, Argentina) respectively are close to C. rionegrensis. The relationships among these karyomorphs is considered in light of data on sperm morphology. The hypothesis is advanced that karyotypic rearrangements among the FN = 84 group may be the result of Robertsonian repatterning from a 2n = 70 original widespread form. Fixation of chromosomal variants is correlated with patchy distribution and small size of unstable demes, and may or may not have resulted in reproductive isolation.