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    ABSTRACT: The family Rhamphichthyidae includes three genera: Rhamphichthys Müller et Troschel, 1846, Gymnorhamphichthys M. M. Ellis, 1912 and Iracema Triques, 1996. From this family, only the species Rhamphichthys hanni Meinken, 1937 has had its karyotype described. Here, we describe the karyotypes of two additional Rhamphichthys species: Rhamphichthys marmoratus Castelnau, 1855 from the Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá, Amazonas state and Rhamphichthys prope rostratus Linnaeus, 1766 from Pará state, both in Brazil. Our karyotypic analyses demonstrated that the diploid number is conserved for the genus (2n = 50), but the karyotypic formulas (KFs) differed between Rhamphichthys marmoratus (44m/sm+6a) and Rhamphichthys prope rostratus (42m/sm+8a). In both species, the constitutive heterochromatin (CH) was located in the centromeric region of most chromosomes. Large heterochromatic blocks were found on the long arms of pairs 4 and 14 in Rhamphichthys marmoratus and on chromosomes 3, 4 and 19 in Rhamphichthys prope rostratus, which also has a heteromorphism in chromosome pair 1. The CH was DAPI positive, indicating that it is rich in AT base pairs. The Nucleolus Organizer Region (NOR) showed staining at a single location in both species: the long arm of pair 1 in Rhamphichthys marmoratus and the long arm of pair 12 in Rhamphichthys prope rostratus, where it showed a size heteromorphism. CMA3 staining coincided with that of Ag-NOR, indicating that the ribosomal genes contain interspaced GC-rich sequences. FISH with an 18S rDNA probe confirmed that there is only one NOR site in each species. These results can be used as potential cytogenetic markers for fish populations, and comparative analysis of the karyotypes of Hypopygus Hoedman, 1962, Rhamphichthys and Steatogenys Boulenger, 1898 suggests that the first two genera diverged later that the third.
    Comparative cytogenetics 10/2013; 7(4):279-91. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The family Loricariidae encompasses approximately 800 species distributed in six subfamilies. The subfamily Hypostominae consists of five tribes; of them, the tribe Ancistrini is relatively diverse, but it is not well known from the cytogenetic point of view. Genus Scobinancistrus Isbrücker et Nijssen, 1989, which is part of the tribe Ancistrini, has two species that occur in sympatry in the Xingu River, Brazil. In this work, we performed the first karyotypic characterizations of these two species and sought to identify the processes involved in their karyotypic evolution. Chromosomal preparations were subjected to Giemsa staining, silver nitrate impregnation, C-banding, CMA3 staining, DAPI staining, and FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) with 18S rDNA and telomeric probes. We found that Scobinancistrus aureatus Burgess, 1994 and Scobinancistrus pariolispos Isbrücker et Nijssen, 1989 shared the diploid number, 2n=52, but differed in their karyotypic formulae (KFs), distribution of constitutive heterochromatin (CH), and the localizations of their nucleolus organizer regions (NORs), which were found on the interstitial and distal regions of the long arm of chromosome pair 3 in Scobinancistrus aureatus and Scobinancistrus pariolispos respectively. We suggest that these interspecific variations may have arisen via paracentric inversion or transposition of the NOR. The karyotypic differences found between these two Scobinancistrus species can be used to identify them taxonomically, and may have functioned as a mechanism of post-zygotic reproductive isolation during the speciation process.
    Comparative cytogenetics 03/2013; 7(1):43-51. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Gymnotiformes are an important component of the Neotropical ichthyofauna and they are known for their ability to generate and detect electrical discharges. Phylogenetic relationships of Gymnotiformes are still not well understood. However, the monophyly of the superfamily Rhamphichthyoidea is well accepted, despite the position of tribe Steatogenini (Steatogenys, Hypopygus and Stegostenopos) within this superfamily is unclear. The genus Steatogenys includes three species that, together with Hypopygus and Stegostenopos, form tribe Steatogenini. Cytogenetic information is currently only available for Hypopygus lepturus. Here, we describe the karyotypes of Steatogenys elegans from four localities and S. duidae from two localities. S. elegans was found to have 2n=50, ZZ/ZW (12m-sm/38st-a), while S. duidae had 2n=50 (50m-sm). In S. elegans, constitutive heterochromatin (CH) was observed in the centromeric regions of all chromosomes, in the interstitial region of 1q, and in two blocks of Wq. In S. duidae, CH was observed in the centromeric and pericentromeric regions of all chromosomes, and in the interstitial regions of 2q, 3q, 5q, and 7q. Nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) were identified in the distal regions of one chromosome pair in each species. The CMA3 fluorochrome (specific to G-C rich regions) coincided with the NORs in both species, and with the HC of S. elegans except on chromosome pair 5 and the W. The DAPI fluorochrome (specific to A-T rich regions) coincided with the CH of both species, and was very intense for chromosome pair 5 and the W of S. elegans. Our observations suggest that the ZZ/ZW system observed in S. elegans likely evolved through CH addition followed by a paracentric inversion. The chromosomal data described herein are consistent with the phylogenetic hypothesis that tribe Steatogenini should be positioned within family Ramphychthyidae. KeywordsElectric fish–Sex chromosomes–Fluorochromes–Chromosome rearrangements–Karyotypic evolution
    Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 01/2011; 21(3):613-621. · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe chromosomal and electric signal diversity in three sympatric species of Gymnotus (Gymnotidae) fish from the Central Amazon Floodplain. Gymnotus arapaima presents a karyotype of 2n = 44 (24 m-sm + 20st-a), G. mamiraua 2n = 54 (42 m-sm + 12st-a), and G. jonasi 2n = 52 (12 m-sm + 40st-a). No evidence for a chromosomal sexual system was observed in two species for which both males and females were analyzed (G. mamiraua and G. arapaima). In all three species the constitutive heterochromatin is located primarily in pericentromeric regions, but also at some other sites. G. arapaima and G. mamiraua exhibit simple nucleolar organizing regions (NORs) on short arms of chromosome pairs 19 and 24, respectively. Gymnotus jonasi exhibits a multiple interstitial NOR on the long arm of pairs 9 and 10, and on the short arm of pair 11. G. arapaima and G. mamiraua exhibit several additional similarities in their karyotypic formulas—reflecting the phylogenetic proximity of these species within a G. carapo group clade (based on molecular phylogenetic evidence). The chromosomal differences among these three sympatric species imply complete post-zygotic reproductive isolation. A prominent pattern of partitioning of the peak power frequency of the electric organ discharge of these three species indicates pre-zygotic reproductive isolation of mate attraction signals. We conclude by discussing the evolutionary events that may have promoted signal divergence and reproductive isolation in Gymnotus of the Central Amazon, and the role that chromosomal rearrangements may place in diversification.
    Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 22(2). · 2.27 Impact Factor

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