Recurrent amplifications and deletions of satellite DNA accompanied chromosomal diversification in South American tuco-tucos (genus Ctenomys, Rodentia: Octodontidae): a phylogenetic approach

Mol Biol Evol. 2001 Sep;18(9):1708-19. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a003959.


We investigated the relationship between satellite copy number and chromosomal evolution in tuco-tucos (genus Ctenomys), a karyotypically diverse clade of rodents. To explore phylogenetic relationships among 23 species and 5 undescribed forms, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b genes of 27 specimens and incorporated 27 previously published sequences. We then used quantitative dot-blot techniques to assess changes in the copy number of the major Ctenomys satellite DNA (satDNA), named RPCS. Our analysis of the relationship between variation in copy number of RPCS and chromosomal changes employed a maximum-likelihood approach to infer the copy number of the satellite RPCS in the ancestors of each clade. We found that amplifications and deletions of RPCS were associated with extensive chromosomal rearrangements even among closely related species. In contrast, RPCS copy number stability was observed within clades characterized by chromosomal stability. This example reinforces the suspected role of amplification, deletion, and intragenomic movement of satDNA in promoting extensive chromosomal evolution.

PMID:11504851 | DOI:10.1093/oxfordjournals.molbev.a003959