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Corpus Systématique Animale

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Chromosome homology and heterochromatin in goat, sheep and ox studied by banding techniques

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  • H. J. Evans 1
  • R. A. Buckland 1
  • A. T. Sumner 1
  • 1) MRC Clinical and Population Cytogenetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland

Peripheral blood lymphocyte metaphase chromosomes of three Bovoidean species have been studied using Quinacrine fluorescence and Giemsa banding techniques to give Q-, G-, and C-banding patterns. Q- and G-banding characteristics, coupled with chromosome length, enabled all of the chromosomes in each of the chromosome complements to be clearly distinguished, although some difficulties were encountered with the very smallest chromosomes. A comparison of G-banding patterns between the species revealed a remarkable degree of homology of banding patterns. Each of the 23 different acrocentric autosomes of the domestic sheep (2n=54) was represented by an identical chromosome in the goat (2n=60) and the arms of the 3 pairs of sheep metacentric autosomes were identical matches with the remaining 6 goat acrocentrics. A similar interspecies homology was evident for all but two of the autosomes in the ox (2n=60). This homology between sheep metacentric and goat acrocentric elements confirms a previously suggested Robertsonian variation. The close homology in G-banding patterns between these related species indicates that the banding patterns are evolutionarily conservative and may be a useful guide in assessing interspecific relationships. —The centromeric heterochromatin in the autosomes of the three species was found to show little or no Q-or G-staining, in contrast to the sex chromosomes. This lack of centromeric staining with the G-technique (ASG) contrasts markedly with results obtained with other mammalian species. However, with the C-banding technique these regions show a normal intense Giemsa stain and the C-bands in the sex chromosomes are inconspicuous. The amount of centromeric heterochromatin in the sheep metacentric chromosomes is considerable less than in the acrocentric autosomes or in a newly derived metacentric element discovered in a goat. It is suggested that the pale G-staining of the centromeric heterochromatin in these species might be related to the presence of G-Crich satellite DNA.

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  • 1 - Health Sciences ; 2 - Medicine ; 3 - Genetics(clinical)
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology ; 3 - Genetics
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  • 1 - science ; 2 - genetics & heredity
  • 1 - science ; 2 - biochemistry & molecular biology
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