Cytogenetics of a new cytotype of African Mus (subgenus Nannomys) minutoides (Rodentia, Muridae) from Kenya: C- and G- banding and distribution of (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequences. uri icon


  • We present the results of a cytogenetic study on Mus (Nannomys) minutoides from Kenya by means of C- and G- banding and in-situ fluorescence hybridization (FISH) to localize the telomeric sequences. The karyotype is characterized by the occurrence of several Rb chromosomes Rb(1.X), Rb(1.Y). Rb(2.17), Rb(3.13), Rb(4.10), Rb(5.11), Rb(6.7), Rb(8.12), not previously described for this species. This finding suggests a high level of chromosomal diversification, which means it is possible to consider this cytotype as a new, well-differentiated, chromosomal lineage within the subgenus. The C-banding of the metaphases illustrated conspicuous blocks of centromeric heterochromatin at the paracentromeric regions of all telocentric chromosomes. Centromeric heterochromatin is not visible on all biarmed chromosomes. Following hybridization with telomeric probes, bright interstitial telomeric sequence (ITS) fluorescence signals are evident at the pericentromeric area of all Rb chromosomes, with the exception of Rb(2.17). Considering the localization of the C-positive heterochromatin and of the telomeric sequences, the events leading to the Kenyan cytotype from an all-telocentric condition probably included two steps: first, fusion without loss of heterochromatin and pericentromeric telomeric sequences; second, the reduction of the C-positive satellite DNA followed by the amplification of telomeric sequences in the C-negative paracentromeric region of Rb chromosomes. The presence of a single Rb(2.17) without ITS indicates possible variations of this mechanism.

publication date

  • 2006