Chromosome evolution in bears: Reconstructing phylogenetic relationships by cross-species chromosome painting

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2004
Authors:Tian, Y, Nie, W, Wang, J, Yang, F, Smith, MAFerguso
Journal:Chromosome Research
Date Published:2004
Keywords:Helarctos malayanus, Neofelis nebulosa, Panthera leo, Panthera pardus, Ursidae

Genome-wide homology maps among dog (Canis familiar is, CFA, 2n = 78), African lion (Panthera leo, PLE, 2n = 38), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa, NNE, 2n = 38) and Malayan sun bear (Helartos malayanus, HMA, 2n = 74) have been established by chromosome painting using a complete set of dog probes. In total, chromosome-specific painting probes from the 38 dog autosomes reveal 69, 69 and 73 conserved segments in African lion, clouded leopard and Malayan sun bear, respectively. The chromosomal painting results show that the African lion and clouded leopard have an identical karyotype which, in turn, is similar to that previously published for the cat (Felis catus, FCA 2n = 38). The findings confirm and extend other studies that show felids to be karyotypically conserved. In contrast, ursids, including the Malayan sun bear, have a relatively highly rearranged karyotype in comparison with other carnivores. The 2n = 74 karyotype of the Malayan sun bear, which is believed to closely resemble the ancestral karyotype of the Ursidae, could have evolved from the 2n = 42 putative ancestral carnivore karyotype by an inversion and 16 centric fissions. Independent fusions of the acrocentric ancestral chromosomes have generated the unique karyotypes of the giant panda and the spectacled bear.

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