, Volume 420, Issue 1, pp 55–62

An overview of marine fish cytogenetics

  • P. M. GalettiJr.
  • C. T. Aguilar
  • W. F. Molina

DOI: 10.1023/A:1003977418900

Cite this article as:
Galetti, P.M., Aguilar, C.T. & Molina, W.F. Hydrobiologia (2000) 420: 55. doi:10.1023/A:1003977418900


The number of cytogenetic studies of marine fish has increased in recent years. Fish groups, such as Perciformes, which comprises many of the extant marine teleosts of economic importance, show little divergence in chromosome number and most species display a diploid number of 48 acrocentric chromosomes. In the Serranidae, Sparidae, Sciaenidae (Perciformes) and Mugilidae (Mugiliformes) small chromosome variations are restricted to subtle heterochromatin or nucleolar organizer region (NOR) modifications. There appears to exist a strict relationship between both absence of geographic barriers throughout the marine environment and high mobility of these animals (eggs, larvae, or adults), with a rarity of chromosome rearrangement at the macrostructural level. Moreover, a cellular homeostasis might also be important to karyotype maintenance among these fishes, limiting changes in the chromosome complement to cryptic chromosome rearrangements. Other groups, such as Blenniidae, Gobiidae and Scorpaenidae, for instance, show more extensive chromosome diversity, which is probably related to limited mobility. Numerical and structural chromosome polymorphisms and several sexual chromosome systems are recurrent among these fishes. A wide karyotypic diversification also characterizes the Tetraodontiformes, an interesting fish group with peculiar morphological, physiological and ecological characteristics.

chromosomesevolutionnucleolar organizer region

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. GalettiJr.
    • 1
  • C. T. Aguilar
    • 2
  • W. F. Molina
    • 3
  1. 1.1Departamento de Genética e EvoluãoUniversidade Federal de São CarlosSão Carlos, SPBrazil
  2. 2.2Departamento de Genética – Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CCS – Bloco ARio de Janeiro, RJBrazil
  3. 3.3Departamento de Biologia Celular e GenéticaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do NorteNatal, RNBrazil