Lukas Kratochvil

Lukas Kratochvil
Charles University in Prague | CUNI · Department of Ecology (PF)

Prof., PhD

About

194
Publications
69,533
Reads
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4,173
Citations
Citations since 2016
91 Research Items
3038 Citations
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
July 2017 - September 2019
Charles University in Prague
Position
  • Head of Department
January 2017 - June 2017
Charles University in Prague
Position
  • Head of Department
January 2011 - present
Charles University in Prague
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (194)
Article
Full-text available
Amniote vertebrates, the group consisting of mammals and reptiles including birds, possess various mechanisms of sex determination. Under environmental sex determination (ESD), the sex of individuals depends on the environmental conditions occurring during their development and therefore there are no sexual differences present in their genotypes. A...
Article
Full-text available
Triggers and biological processes controlling male or female gonadal differentiation vary in vertebrates, with sex determination (SD) governed by environmental factors or simple to complex genetic mechanisms that evolved repeatedly and independently in various groups. Here, we review sex evolution across major clades of vertebrates with information...
Article
Full-text available
Until recently, the field of sex chromosome evolution has been dominated by the canonical unidirectional scenario, first developed by Muller in 1918. This model postulates that sex chromosomes emerge from autosomes by acquiring a sex-determining locus. Recombination reduction then expands outwards from this locus, to maintain its linkage with sexua...
Article
Obligate parthenogenesis evolved in reptiles convergently several times, mostly through interspecific hybridization. The obligate parthenogenetic complexes typically include both diploid and triploid lineages. Offspring of the parthenogenetic hybrids are genetic copies of their mothers; however, the cellular mechanism enabling the production of unr...
Article
Differentiated sex chromosomes are believed to be evolutionarily stable, while poorly differentiated sex chromosomes are considered to be prone to turnovers. With around 1700 currently known species forming ca 15% of reptile species diversity, skinks (family Scincidae) are a very diverse group of squamates known for their large ecological and morph...
Article
The reconstruction of the evolutionary history of sex determination in squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes) is complicated by missing data in many lineages, erroneous reports, and often questionable inferences on state homology. Therefore, despite the large effort, the reconstruction of the ancestral sex determination in squamate reptiles is stil...
Article
Full-text available
During meiotic prophase I, tightly regulated processes take place, from pairing and synapsis of homologous chromosomes to recombination, which are essential for the generation of genetically variable haploid gametes. These processes have canonical meiotic features conserved across different phylogenetic groups. However, the dynamics of meiotic prop...
Article
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Squamate reptiles have been considered to be indeterminate growers for a long time. However, recent studies demonstrate that bone prolongation is stopped in many lizards by the closure of bone growth plates. This shift in the paradigm of lizard growth has important consequences for questions concerning the proximate causes of sexual size dimorphism...
Article
Full-text available
The recent discovery of two independently evolved XX/XY sex determination systems in the snake genera Python and Boa sparked a new drive to study the evolution of sex chromosomes in poorly studied lineages of snakes, where female heterogamety was previously assumed. Therefore, we examined seven species from the genera Eryx, Cylindrophis, Python, an...
Article
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The northernmost population of the Balkan wall lizards, Podarcis tauricus (Pallas, 1814) was recently discovered in the Czech Republic. We studied genetic variability in a mitochondrial marker cytochrome b to shed light on the origin of this remote population. We detected three unique haplotypes, close to those occurring in the populations of Podar...
Article
Full-text available
(1) In contrast to mammals and birds, reptiles have been considered as indeterminate growers, whose growth reflects differential allocation of resources to growth versus other energetically demanding processes such as reproduction. (2) We monitored the growth and activity of bone growth plates, hormonal profiles, and reproductive activity in males...
Article
Using ratios of non-synonymous to synonymous mutations is a common approach to standardize the variable of a trait (a numerator) to a predictor variable (a denominator). Yet, interpretations of ratios are not straightforward and are often non-intuitive. Still, simple ratios of non-synonymous to synonymous mutations are widely used in evolutionary b...
Article
Full-text available
Differentiation of sex chromosomes is thought to have evolved with cessation of recombination and subsequent loss of genes from the degenerated partner (Y and W) of sex chromosomes, which in turn leads to imbalance of gene dosage between sexes. Based on work with traditional model species, theory suggests that unequal gene copy numbers lead to the...
Article
Full-text available
Transitions from environmental sex determination (ESD) to genotypic sex determination (GSD) require an intermediate step of sex reversal, i.e., the production of individuals with a mismatch between the ancestral genotypic and the phenotypic sex. Among amniotes, the sole well-documented transition in this direction was shown in the laboratory in the...
Article
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The lizards of the species-rich clade Scincoidea including cordylids, gerrhosaurids, skinks, and xantusiids, show an almost cosmopolitan geographical distribution and a remarkable ecological and morphological divergence. However, previous studies revealed limited variability in cytogenetic traits. The sex determination mode was revealed only in a h...
Article
Sex chromosomes are a great example of a convergent evolution at thegenomic level, having evolved dozens of times just within amniotes. An intriguing question is whether this repeated evolution was random, or whether some ancestral syntenic blocks have significantly higher chance to be co-opted for the role of sex chromosomes owing to their gene co...
Article
Full-text available
Squamate reptiles show high diversity in sex determination ranging from environmental sex determination to genotypic sex determination with varying degrees of differentiation of sex chromosomes. Unfortunately, we lack even basic information on sex determination mode in several lineages of squamates, which prevents full understanding of their divers...
Article
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Anguimorphan lizards are a morphologically variable group of squamate reptiles with a wide geographical distribution. In spite of their importance, they have been cytogenetically understudied. Here, we present the results of the cytogenetic examination of 23 species from five anguimorphan families (Anguidae, Helodermatidae, Shinisauridae, Varanidae...
Article
Body‐size dependence of metabolic rate, body surface and scale morphology complicate disentangling the contribution of these characteristics to adaptive changes in total evaporative water loss (TEWL) of reptiles. To separate adaptive changes from size‐related dependence, we compared intra‐ and interspecific scaling of several candidate traits in ey...
Article
Full-text available
Amniotes possess astonishing variability in sex determination ranging from environmental sex determination (ESD) to genotypic sex determination (GSD) with highly differentiated sex chromosomes. Geckos are one of the few amniote groups with substantial variability in sex determination. What makes them special in this respect? We hypothesized that th...
Article
Full-text available
Embryos, juveniles, and even adults of many bird species lack pronounce external sexually dimorphic characteristics. Accurate identification of sex is crucial for research (e.g. developmental, population, and evolutionary studies), management of wildlife species, and captive breeding programs for both conservation and poultry. An accurate molecular...
Article
Organisms evolved various mechanisms to cope with the differences in the gene copy numbers between sexes caused by degeneration of Y and W sex chromosomes. Complete dosage compensation or at least expression balance between sexes was reported predominantly in XX/XY, but rarely in ZZ/ZW systems. However, this often‐reported pattern is based on compa...
Article
Full-text available
The Asian box turtle genus Cuora currently comprises 13 species with a wide distribution in Southeast Asia, including China and the islands of Indonesia and Philippines. The populations of these species are rapidly declining due to human pressure, including pollution, habitat loss, and harvesting for food consumption. Notably, the IUCN Red List ide...
Article
Full-text available
Geckos demonstrate a remarkable variability in sex determination systems, but our limited knowledge prohibits accurate conclusions on the evolution of sex determination in this group. Eyelid geckos (Eublepharidae) are of particular interest, as they encompass species with both environmental and genotypic sex determination. We identified for the fir...
Preprint
Full-text available
Geckos demonstrate a remarkable variability in sex determination systems, but our limited knowledge prohibits accurate conclusions on the evolution of sex determination in this group. Eyelid geckos (Eublepharidae) are of particular interest, as they encompass species with both environmental and genotypic sex determination. We identified for the fir...
Article
In article number 2000050, Barbora Straková et al. speculate that environmental sex determination in amniotes evolves via a heterochronic shift of sex change from the adult to the embryonic stage in a hermaphroditic ancestor. Subsequently, the loss of responsiveness to environmental stimuli (stress) led to genotypic sex determination, where the sex...
Article
Facultative parthenogenesis in vertebrates is believed to be exceptional and wherever documented, it always led to single‐sex progeny with genome‐wide homozygosity. We report the first challenge to this paradigm: frequent facultative parthenogenesis in the previously assumed sexually reproducing tropical night lizard Lepidophyma smithii results in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Differentiated sex chromosomes are believed to be evolutionarily stable, and their emergence was suggested to lead to a remarkable increase in the diversification rate and in disparity in such groups as birds, mammals and snakes. On the other hand, poorly differentiated sex chromosomes are considered to be prone to turnovers. With around 1.700 curr...
Article
Frequent independent origins of environmental sex determination (ESD) are assumed within amniotes. However, the phylogenetic distribution of sex‐determining modes suggests that ESD is likely very ancient and may be homologous across ESD groups. Sex chromosomes are demonstrated to be old and stable in endothermic (mammals and birds) and many ectothe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Organisms evolved various mechanisms to cope with the differences in the gene copy numbers between sexes caused by degeneration of Y and W sex chromosomes. Complete dosage compensation or at least expression balance between sexes was reported predominantly in XX/XY, but rarely in ZZ/ZW systems. However, this often-reported pattern is based on compa...
Article
Full-text available
The study of energy allocation is essential in understanding the regulation of major life history traits. It is often assumed automatically that the limitation of an energy budget or higher allocation to a single trait affect all life history traits. This assumption was inherently included in influential models of ontogenetic growth. We aim to chal...
Article
Full-text available
Dragon lizards (Squamata: Agamidae) comprise about 520 species in six subfamilies distributed across Asia, Australasia and Africa. Only five species are known to have sex chromosomes. All of them possess ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes, which are microchromosomes in four species from the subfamily Amphibolurinae, but much larger in Phrynocephalus vlangalii f...
Article
Full-text available
Dragon lizards (Squamata: Agamidae) comprise about 520 species in six subfamilies distributed across Asia, Australasia and Africa. Only five species are known to have sex chromosomes. All of them possess ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes, which are microchromosomes in four species from the subfamily Amphibolurinae, but much larger in Phrynocephalus vlangalii f...
Article
Full-text available
Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting chromosome ends in most eukaryotic organisms. In addition to chromosome ends, telomeric-like motifs can be accumulated in centromeric, pericentromeric and intermediate (i.e., between centromeres and telomeres) positions as so-called interstitial telomeric repeats (ITRs). We mapped the distribution of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Differentiation of sex chromosomes is thought to have evolved with cessation of recombination and subsequent loss of genes from the degenerated partner (Y and W) of sex chromosomes, which in turn leads to imbalance of gene dosage between sexes. Based on work with traditional model species, theory suggests that unequal gene copy numbers lead to the...
Article
Full-text available
Lacertid lizards are a widely radiated group of squamate reptiles with long-term stable ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes. Despite their family-wide homology of Z-specific gene content, previous cytogenetic studies revealed significant variability in the size, morphology, and heterochromatin distribution of their W chromosome. However, there is little evidence...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
Full-text available
Turtles demonstrate variability in sex determination and, hence, constitute an excellent model for the evolution of sex chromosomes. Notably, the sex determination of the freshwater turtles from the family Chelidae, a species-rich group with wide geographical distribution in the southern hemisphere, is still poorly explored. Here we documented the...
Article
Full-text available
Proximate control of the development of sexual dimorphism is still hotly debated in reptiles. In some squamates, many male-typical exaggerated traits including body size were assumed to be controlled by masculinization by male gonadal androgens. We performed a manipulative experiment to test the importance of this mechanism in the development of pr...
Article
Full-text available
Reproductive mode, ancestry, and climate are hypothesized to determine body size variation in reptiles but their effects have rarely been estimated simultaneously, especially at the intraspecific level. The common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) occupies almost the entire Northern Eurasia and includes viviparous and oviparous lineages, thus representing...
Article
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Chameleons are well-known, highly distinctive lizards characterized by unique morphological and physiological traits, but their karyotypes and sex determination system have remained poorly studied. We studied karyotypes in six species of Madagascan chameleons of the genus Furcifer by classical (conventional stain, C-banding) and molecular (comparat...
Article
Full-text available
Homologous and differentiated ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes (or derived multiple neo-sex chromosomes) were often described in caenophidian snakes, but sex chromosomes were unknown until recently in non-caenophidian snakes. Previous studies revealed that two species of boas (Boa imperator, B. constrictor) and one species of python (Python bivittatus) indepe...
Article
Full-text available
Geographic variability in vocalizations has been documented in many mammalian species. We examined to what extent it applies to the alarm calls of the European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus. We recorded the calls of 82 adult individuals from five natural colonies in the Czech Republic and of 24 adult individuals from an artificial seminatur...
Article
Most pleurodont lizard families (anoles, iguanas and their relatives), with the exception of the basilisks and casquehead lizards (family Corytophanidae), share homologous XX/XY sex chromosomes, syntenic with chicken chromosome 15. Here, we used a suite of methods (i.e. RADseq, RNAseq and qPCR) to identify corytophanid sex chromosomes for the first...
Article
Full-text available
The recent advances in DNA sequencing technology are enabling a rapid increase in the number of genomes being sequenced. However, many fundamental questions in genome biology remain unanswered, because sequence data alone is unable to provide insight into how the genome is organised into chromosomes, the position and interaction of those chromosome...
Article
Full-text available
Monitor lizards are unique among ectothermic reptiles in that they have high aerobic capacity and distinctive cardiovascular physiology resembling that of endothermic mammals. Here, we sequence the genome of the Komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis, the largest extant monitor lizard, and generate a high-resolution de novo chromosome-assigned genome as...
Article
Full-text available
Amniotes possess variability in sex determination, from environmental sex determination (ESD), where no sex chromosomes are present, to genotypic sex determination (GSD) with highly differentiated sex chromosomes. Some evolutionary scenarios postulate high stability of differentiated sex chromosomes and rare transitions from GSD to ESD. However, se...
Article
Amniotes possess variability in sex determination, ranging from environmental sex determination to genotypic sex determination with differentiated sex chromosomes. Differentiated sex chromosomes have emerged independently several times. Their noteworthy convergent characteristic is the evolutionary stability, documented among amniotes in mammals, b...
Article
Full-text available
An experimental approach using monoclonal anti-5-methylcytosine antibodies and indirect immunofluorescence was elaborated for detecting 5-methylcytosine-rich chromosome regions in reptilian chromosomes. This technique was applied to conventionally prepared mitotic metaphases of 2 turtle species and 12 squamate species from 8 families. The hypermeth...
Article
Full-text available
We developed new tools to build a high-quality chromosomal map of the Komodo dragon ( Varanus komodoensis ) available for cross-species phylogenomic analyses. First, we isolated chromosomes by flow sorting and determined the chromosome content of each flow karyotype peak by FISH. We then isolated additional Komodo dragon chromosomes by microdissect...
Article
Full-text available
Sex determination in varanids, Gila monsters, beaded lizards, and other anguimorphan lizards is still poorly understood. Sex chromosomes were reported only in a few species based solely on cytogenetics, which precluded assessment of their homology. We uncovered Z-chromosome-specific genes in varanids from their transcriptomes. Comparison of differe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Monitor lizards are unique among ectothermic reptiles in that they have a high aerobic capacity and distinctive cardiovascular physiology which resembles that of endothermic mammals. We have sequenced the genome of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), the largest extant monitor lizard, and present a high resolution de novo chromosome-assigned g...
Article
Full-text available
For a long time, turtles of the family Geoemydidae have been considered exceptional because representatives of this family were thought to possess a wide variety of sex determination systems. In the present study, we cytogenetically studied Geoemyda spengleri and G. japonica and re-examined the putative presence of sex chromosomes in Pangshura smit...
Article
Despite their long history with the basal split dating back to the Eocene, all species of monitor lizards (family Varanidae) studied so far share the same chromosome number of 2n = 40. However, there are differences in the morphology of the macrochromosome pairs 5–8. Further, sex determination, which revealed ZZ/ZW sex microchromosomes, was studied...
Article
Full-text available
The advanced snakes (Caenophidia), the important amniote lineage encompassing more than 3000 living species, possess highly conserved female heterogamety across all families. However, we still lack any knowledge on the gene(s) and the molecular mechanism controlling sex determination. Triploid individuals spontaneously appear in populations of dipl...
Article
Snakes are historically important in the formulation of several central concepts on the evolution of sex chromosomes. For over 50 years, it was believed that all snakes shared the same ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes, which are homomorphic and poorly differentiated in “basal” snakes such as pythons and boas, while heteromorphic and well differentiated in “ad...