Karyotypic diversity and evolution of seven mahseer species (Cyprinidae) from India
Mahseer is a group of fish species that are well known as food and game fishes. The taxonomy of the mahseer species is confusing owing to the morphological variations and habitat adaptation. Detailed karyomorphological investigations have been carried out in seven species of mahseer, using karyotyping, Ag-NOR and fluorescent staining techniques. The basic diploid chromosome number (2n), in all mahseer species, was observed to be 100; however, the karyotype formula varied among the species, which were recorded as: 20m + 14sm + 22st + 44t (fundamental arm number, FN = 134) in Tor khudree; 22m + 24sm + 24st + 30t (FN = 146) in Tor mussullah; 12m + 22sm + 14st + 52t (FN = 134) in Tor putitora; 20m + 24sm + 24st + 32t (FN = 144) in Tor tor; 20m + 30sm + 24st + 26t (FN = 150) in Tor chelynoides; 20m + 20sm + 20st + 40t (FN = 140) in Tor progeneius; and 20m + 18sm + 14st + 48t (FN = 138) in Neolissochilus hexagonolepis. Silver staining of the chromosomes revealed the presence of multiple nucleolar organizer regions (NOR) in these mahseer species. The highest number of NORs was observed in T. tor (four pairs of chromosomes), whereas the other six species possessed Ag-NOR signals on only two pairs of chromosomes. Although chromomycin A3 (CMA3) staining induced bright fluorescence signals on same Ag-NORs sites, with CMA3, one additional signal was observed on the p arm of subtelocentric chromosomes in T. tor, T. chelynoides, T. progeneius and N. hexagonolepis, which may indicate the presence of inactive NOR in these species. The information on cytogenetic profile of these mahseer species is discussed in the light of cytotaxonomic implications and understanding the karyoevolution of these fish species.
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