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Satellite DNA and chromosomes in Neotropical fishes: methods, applications and perspectives

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Constitutive heterochromatin represents a substantial portion of the eukaryote genome, and it is mainly composed of tandemly repeated DNA sequences, such as satellite DNAs, which are also enriched by other dispersed repeated elements, including transposons. Studies on the organization, structure, composition and in situ localization of satellite DNAs have led to consistent advances in the understanding of the genome evolution of species, with a particular focus on heterochromatic domains, the diversification of heteromorphic sex chromosomes and the origin and maintenance of B chromosomes. Satellite DNAs can be chromosome specific or species specific, or they can characterize different species from a genus, family or even representatives of a given order. In some cases, the presence of these repeated elements in members of a single clade has enabled inferences of a phylogenetic nature. Genomic DNA restriction, using specific enzymes, is the most frequently used method for isolating satellite DNAs. Recent methods such as C0t1 DNA and chromosome microdissection, however, have proven to be efficient alternatives for the study of this class of DNA. Neotropical ichthyofauna is extremely rich and diverse enabling multiple approaches with regard to the differentiation and evolution of the genome. Genome components of some species and genera have been isolated, mapped and correlated with possible functions and structures of the chromosomes. The 5SHindIII-DNA satellite DNA, which is specific to Hoplias malabaricus of the Erythrinidae family, has an exclusively centromeric location. The As51 satellite DNA, which is closely correlated with the genome diversification of some species from the genus Astyanax, has also been used to infer relationships between species. In the Prochilodontidae family, two repetitive DNA sequences were mapped on the chromosomes, and the SATH 1 satellite DNA is associated with the origin of heterochromatic B chromosomes in Prochilodus lineatus. Among species of the genus Characidium and the Parodontidae family, amplifications of satellite DNAs have demonstrated that these sequences are related to the differentiation of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. The possible elimination of satellite DNA units could explain the genome compaction that occurs among some species of Neotropical Tetraodontiformes. These topics are discussed in the present review, showing the importance of satellite DNA analysis in the differentiation and karyotype evolution of Actinopterygii.
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Keywords: B chromosomes; genome evolution; karyotype diversification; repetitive DNA; sex chromosomes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratório de Citogenética e Evolução, Departamento de Biologia Estrutural, Molecular e Genética, Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Ponta Grossa, PR 84030-900, Brazil 2: Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Curitiba, PR 81531-990, Brazil 3: Laboratório de Citogenética, Departamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, SP 13565-905, Brazil

Publication date: 01 April 2010

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