A comparative karyological study of the blue-breasted quail (Coturnix chinensis, Phasianidae) and California quail (Callipepla californica, Odontophoridae)
We conducted comparative chromosome painting and chromosome mapping with chicken DNA probes against the blue-breasted quail (Coturnix chinensis, CCH) and California quail (Callipepla californica, CCA), which are classified into the Old World quail and the New World quail, respectively. Each chicken probe of chromosomes 1-9 and Z painted a pair of chromosomes in the blue-breasted quail. In California quail, chicken chromosome 2 probe painted chromosomes 3 and 6, and chicken chromosome 4 probe painted chromosomes 4 and a pair of microchromosomes. Comparison of the cytogenetic maps of the two quail species with those of chicken and Japanese quail revealed that there are several intrachromosomal rearrangements, pericentric and/or paracentric inversions, in chromosomes 1, 2 and 4 between chicken and the Old World quail. In addition, a pericentric inversion was found in chromosome 8 between chicken and the three quail species. Ordering of the Z-linked DNA clones revealed the presence of multiple rearrangements in the Z chromosomes of the three quail species. Comparing these results with the molecular phylogeny of Galliformes species, it was also cytogenetically supported that the New World quail is classified into a different clade from the lineage containing chicken and the Old World quail.
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