Due to its extraordinary longevity and wide distribution, the ocean quahog Arctica islandica
has become an important species model in both aging and environmental change research. Notwithstanding that, most genetic studies on ocean quahogs have been focused on fishery related, phylogeographic and phylogenetic aspects but nothing is known about their chromosomes. In this work, the chromosomes of the ocean quahog Arctica islandica
were analysed by means of 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI)/propidium iodide (PI) staining and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with rDNA, histone gene and telomeric probes. Whilst both 5S rDNA and 45S rDNA were clustered at single subcentromeric locations on the long arms of chromosome pairs 2 and 12, respectively, histone gene clusters located on the short arms of chromosome pairs 7, 10 and 17. As happens with most bivalves, the location of the vertebrate type telomeric sequence clusters was restricted to chromosome ends. The knowledge of the karyotype can facilitate the anchoring of genomic sequences to specific chromosome pairs in this species.
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