Genome size and chromosome number in velvet worms (Onychophora)
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- Jeffery, N.W., Oliveira, I.S., Gregory, T.R. et al. Genetica (2012) 140: 497. doi:10.1007/s10709-013-9698-5
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The Onychophora (velvet worms) represents a small group of invertebrates (~180 valid species), which is commonly united with Tardigrada and Arthropoda in a clade called Panarthropoda. As with the majority of invertebrate taxa, genome size data are very limited for the Onychophora, with only one previously published estimate. Here we use both flow cytometry and Feulgen image analysis densitometry to provide genome size estimates for seven species of velvet worms from both major subgroups, Peripatidae and Peripatopsidae, along with karyotype data for each species. Genome sizes in these species range from roughly 5–19 pg, with densitometric estimates being slightly larger than those obtained by flow cytometry for all species. Chromosome numbers range from 2n = 8 to 2n = 54. No relationship is evident between genome size, chromosome number, or reproductive mode. Various avenues for future genomic research are presented based on these results.