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Open AccessArticle

Chromosome Translocations as a Driver of Diversification in Mole Voles Ellobius (Rodentia, Mammalia)

Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
Department of Natural Sciences, Novosibirsk State University, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119334 Moscow, Russia
Institute of Zoology and Parasitology, Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, Dushanbe 734025, Tajikistan
Cambridge Resource Centre for Comparative Genomics, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 0ES, UK
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(18), 4466;
Received: 21 August 2019 / Revised: 4 September 2019 / Accepted: 9 September 2019 / Published: 10 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chromosome and Karyotype Variation)
The involvement of chromosome changes in the initial steps of speciation is controversial. Here we examine diversification trends within the mole voles Ellobius, a group of subterranean rodents. The first description of their chromosome variability was published almost 40 years ago. Studying the G-band structure of chromosomes in numerous individuals revealed subsequent homologous, step-by-step, Robertsonian translocations, which changed diploid numbers from 54 to 30. Here we used a molecular cytogenetic strategy which demonstrates that chromosomal translocations are not always homologous; consequently, karyotypes with the same diploid number can carry different combinations of metacentrics. We further showed that at least three chromosomal forms with 2n = 34 and distinct metacentrics inhabit the Pamir-Alay mountains. Each of these forms independently hybridized with E. tancrei, 2n = 54, forming separate hybrid zones. The chromosomal variations correlate slightly with geographic barriers. Additionally, we confirmed that the emergence of partial or monobrachial homology appeared to be a strong barrier for hybridization in nature, in contradistinction to experiments which we reported earlier. We discuss the possibility of whole arm reciprocal translocations for mole voles. Our findings suggest that chromosomal translocations lead to diversification and speciation. View Full-Text
Keywords: chromosome painting; karyotype; mole vole; speciation; subterranean rodents chromosome painting; karyotype; mole vole; speciation; subterranean rodents
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Romanenko, S.A.; Lyapunova, E.A.; Saidov, A.S.; O’Brien, P.C.; Serdyukova, N.A.; Ferguson-Smith, M.A.; Graphodatsky, A.S.; Bakloushinskaya, I. Chromosome Translocations as a Driver of Diversification in Mole Voles Ellobius (Rodentia, Mammalia). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 4466.

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