Special Issue "Vertebrate Karyotype Evolution: How Far Have We Come, and Where Are We Going?"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Michail T Rovatsos
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, 12800 Prague, Czech Republic
Interests: comparative genomics; cytogenetics; karyotype evolution; molecular genetics; repetitive DNA; sex chromosome evolution; sex determination
Dr. Stuart V. Nielsen
Website
Guest Editor
Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL; USA
Interests: character evolution; comparative genomics; cytogenetics; phylogenetics; sex chromosome evolution; sex determination

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With around 70,000 living species, vertebrates include many commercially important and model species, as well as popular nonmodel species with historically enormous importance in research on any field of biology, including karyotype evolution. The most prominent aspects of karyotype evolution in vertebrates involve the variability in sex chromosomes and sex determination systems, the reconstruction of chromosomal rearrangements, the dynamics of repetitive elements, polyploidization, and genome duplication, just to name a few. Although some vertebrate groups are more well-studied, the advent of modern genetic, cytogenetic, genomic and bioinformatic approaches has offered the opportunity to test long-standing hypotheses in both model and nonmodel taxa and led to a resurgence of interest in previously intractable groups. However, there is still much to be discovered across vertebrates. In this Special Issue, we will assemble both conceptual reviews and case studies that expand our knowledge on the dynamic nature of karyotype evolution in vertebrates, both model and nonmodel, using the latest approaches, tools, and methods.

Dr. Michail T Rovatsos
Dr. Stuart V. Nielsen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • chromosomal rearrangements
  • sex chromosomes
  • genome evolution
  • karyotype evolution
  • genomics
  • cytogenetics
  • genetics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assigning the Sex-Specific Markers via Genotyping-by-Sequencing onto the Y Chromosome for a Torrent Frog Amolops mantzorum
Genes 2020, 11(7), 727; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11070727 - 30 Jun 2020
Abstract
We used a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach to identify sex-linked markers in a torrent frog (Amolops mantzorum), using 21 male and 19 female wild-caught individuals from the same population. A total of 141 putatively sex-linked markers were screened from 1,015,964 GBS-tags via [...] Read more.
We used a genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach to identify sex-linked markers in a torrent frog (Amolops mantzorum), using 21 male and 19 female wild-caught individuals from the same population. A total of 141 putatively sex-linked markers were screened from 1,015,964 GBS-tags via three approaches, respectively based on sex differences in allele frequencies, sex differences in heterozygosity, and sex-limited occurrence. With validations, 69 sex-linked markers were confirmed, all of which point to male heterogamety. The male specificity of eight sex markers was further verified by PCR amplifications, with a large number of additional individuals covering the whole geographic distribution of the species. Y chromosome (No. 5) was microdissected under a light microscope and amplified by whole-genome amplification, and a draft Y genome was assembled. Of the 69 sex-linked markers, 55 could be mapped to the Y chromosome assembly (i.e., 79.7%). Thus, chromosome 5 could be added as a candidate to the chromosomes that are particularly favored for recruitment in sex-determination in frogs. Three sex-linked markers that mapped onto the Y chromosome were aligned to three different promoter regions of the Rana rugosa CYP19A1 gene, which might be considered as a candidate gene for triggering sex-determination in A. mantzorum. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Cytogenetic Characterization of the Sicilian Endemic Pond Turtle Emys trinacris and the Yellow-Bellied Slider Trachemys scripta scripta (Testudines, Emydidae)
Genes 2020, 11(6), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060702 - 25 Jun 2020
Abstract
Turtles, a speciose group consisting of more than 300 species, demonstrate karyotypes with diploid chromosome numbers ranging from 2n = 26 to 2n = 68. However, cytogenetic analyses have been conducted only to 1/3rd of the turtle species, often limited to conventional staining [...] Read more.
Turtles, a speciose group consisting of more than 300 species, demonstrate karyotypes with diploid chromosome numbers ranging from 2n = 26 to 2n = 68. However, cytogenetic analyses have been conducted only to 1/3rd of the turtle species, often limited to conventional staining methods. In order to expand our knowledge of the karyotype evolution in turtles, we examined the topology of the (TTAGGG)n telomeric repeats and the rDNA loci by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) on the karyotypes of two emydids: the Sicilian pond turtle, Emys trinacris, and the yellow-bellied slider, Trachemys scripta scripta (family Emydidae). Furthermore, AT-rich and GC-rich chromosome regions were detected by DAPI and CMA3 stains, respectively. The cytogenetic analysis revealed that telomeric sequences are restricted to the terminal ends of all chromosomes and the rDNA loci are localized in one pair of microchromosomes in both species. The karyotype of the Sicilian endemic E. trinacris with diploid number 2n = 50, consisting of 13 pairs of macrochromosomes and 12 pairs of microchromosomes, is presented here for first time. Our comparative examination revealed similar cytogenetic features in Emys trinacris and the closely related E. orbicularis, as well as to other previously studied emydid species, demonstrating a low rate of karyotype evolution, as chromosomal rearrangements are rather infrequent in this group of turtles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cross-Species BAC Mapping Highlights Conservation of Chromosome Synteny across Dragon Lizards (Squamata: Agamidae)
Genes 2020, 11(6), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060698 - 25 Jun 2020
Abstract
Dragon lizards (Squamata: Agamidae) comprise about 520 species in six subfamilies distributed across Asia, Australasia and Africa. Only five species are known to have sex chromosomes. All of them possess ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes, which are microchromosomes in four species from the subfamily Amphibolurinae, [...] Read more.
Dragon lizards (Squamata: Agamidae) comprise about 520 species in six subfamilies distributed across Asia, Australasia and Africa. Only five species are known to have sex chromosomes. All of them possess ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes, which are microchromosomes in four species from the subfamily Amphibolurinae, but much larger in Phrynocephalus vlangalii from the subfamily Agaminae. In most previous studies of these sex chromosomes, the focus has been on Australian species from the subfamily Amphibolurinae, but only the sex chromosomes of the Australian central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) are well-characterized cytogenetically. To determine the level of synteny of the sex chromosomes of P. vitticeps across agamid subfamilies, we performed cross-species two-colour FISH using two bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clones from the pseudo-autosomal regions of P. vitticeps. We mapped these two BACs across representative species from all six subfamilies as well as two species of chameleons, the sister group to agamids. We found that one of these BAC sequences is conserved in macrochromosomes and the other in microchromosomes across the agamid lineages. However, within the Amphibolurinae, there is evidence of multiple chromosomal rearrangements with one of the BACs mapping to the second-largest chromosome pair and to the microchromosomes in multiple species including the sex chromosomes of P. vitticeps. Intriguingly, no hybridization signal was observed in chameleons for either of these BACs, suggesting a likely agamid origin of these sequences. Our study shows lineage-specific evolution of sequences/syntenic blocks and successive rearrangements and reveals a complex history of sequences leading to their association with important biological processes such as the evolution of sex chromosomes and sex determination. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Interstitial Telomeric Repeats Are Rare in Turtles
Genes 2020, 11(6), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060657 - 16 Jun 2020
Abstract
Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting chromosome ends in most eukaryotic organisms. In addition to chromosome ends, telomeric-like motifs can be accumulated in centromeric, pericentromeric and intermediate (i.e., between centromeres and telomeres) positions as so-called interstitial telomeric repeats (ITRs). We mapped the distribution of [...] Read more.
Telomeres are nucleoprotein complexes protecting chromosome ends in most eukaryotic organisms. In addition to chromosome ends, telomeric-like motifs can be accumulated in centromeric, pericentromeric and intermediate (i.e., between centromeres and telomeres) positions as so-called interstitial telomeric repeats (ITRs). We mapped the distribution of (TTAGGG)n repeats in the karyotypes of 30 species from nine families of turtles using fluorescence in situ hybridization. All examined species showed the expected terminal topology of telomeric motifs at the edges of chromosomes. We detected ITRs in only five species from three families. Combining our and literature data, we inferred seven independent origins of ITRs among turtles. ITRs occurred in turtles in centromeric positions, often in several chromosomal pairs, in a given species. Their distribution does not correspond directly to interchromosomal rearrangements. Our findings support that centromeres and non-recombining parts of sex chromosomes are very dynamic genomic regions, even in turtles, a group generally thought to be slowly evolving. However, in contrast to squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), where ITRs were found in more than half of the examined species, and birds, the presence of ITRs is generally rare in turtles, which agrees with the expected low rates of chromosomal rearrangements and rather slow karyotype evolution in this group. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Cytogenetic Characterization of Seven Novel satDNA Markers in Two Species of Spined Loaches (Cobitis) and Their Clonal Hybrids
Genes 2020, 11(6), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11060617 - 04 Jun 2020
Abstract
Interspecific hybridization is a powerful evolutionary force. However, the investigation of hybrids requires the application of methodologies that provide efficient and indubitable identification of both parental subgenomes in hybrid individuals. Repetitive DNA, and especially the satellite DNA sequences (satDNA), can rapidly diverge even [...] Read more.
Interspecific hybridization is a powerful evolutionary force. However, the investigation of hybrids requires the application of methodologies that provide efficient and indubitable identification of both parental subgenomes in hybrid individuals. Repetitive DNA, and especially the satellite DNA sequences (satDNA), can rapidly diverge even between closely related species, hence providing a useful tool for cytogenetic investigations of hybrids. Recent progress in whole-genome sequencing (WGS) offers unprecedented possibilities for the development of new tools for species determination, including identification of species-specific satDNA markers. In this study, we focused on spined loaches (Cobitis, Teleostei), a group of fishes with frequent interspecific hybridization. Using the WGS of one species, C. elongatoides, we identified seven satDNA markers, which were mapped by fluorescence in situ hybridization on mitotic and lampbrush chromosomes of C. elongatoides, C. taenia and their triploid hybrids (C. elongatoides × 2C. taenia). Two of these markers were chromosome-specific in both species, one had centromeric localization in multiple chromosomes and four had variable patterns between tested species. Our study provided a novel set of cytogenetic markers for Cobitis species and demonstrated that NGS-based development of satDNA cytogenetic markers may provide a very efficient and easy tool for the investigation of hybrid genomes, cell ploidy, and karyotype evolution. Full article
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