Indexed on: 25 Jul '14Published on: 25 Jul '14Published in: PloS one
Turdus rufiventris and Turdus albicollis, two songbirds belonging to the family Turdidae (Aves, Passeriformes) were studied by C-banding, 18S rDNA, as well as the use of whole chromosome probes derived from Gallus gallus (GGA) and Leucopternis albicollis (LAL). They showed very similar karyotypes, with 2n = 78 and the same pattern of distribution of heterochromatic blocks and hybridization patterns. However, the analysis of 18/28S rDNA has shown differences in the number of NOR-bearing chromosomes and ribosomal clusters. The hybridization pattern of GGA macrochromosomes was similar to the one found in songbirds studied by Fluorescent in situ hybridization, with fission of GGA 1 and GGA 4 chromosomes. In contrast, LAL chromosome paintings revealed a complex pattern of intrachromosomal rearrangements (paracentric and pericentric inversions) on chromosome 2, which corresponds to GGA1q. The first inversion changed the chromosomal morphology and the second and third inversions changed the order of chromosome segments. Karyotype analysis in Turdus revealed that this genus has derived characteristics in relation to the putative avian ancestral karyotype, highlighting the importance of using new tools for analysis of chromosomal evolution in birds, such as the probes derived from L. albicollis, which make it possible to identify intrachromosomal rearrangements not visible with the use of GGA chromosome painting solely.