, Volume 7, Issue 7, pp 531-540

Genomic Differentiation of 18S Ribosomal DNA and β-Satellite DNA in the Hominoid and its Evolutionary Aspects

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The chromosome localization of two human multisequence families, rDNA and β-satellite (β-sat) DNA, was determined in humans and apes using double color fluorescence in-situ hybridization. Both DNA probes showed a distinct hybridization pattern with species-specific variations in hominoids. The stepwise differentiation of the integration, amplification, multilocalization, and reduction of the DNAs were observed interspecifically through the seven species examined. The stepwise events allowed us to trace back a phylogenetic divergence of the hominoid at the cytogenetic level. The manifestation of the events revealed that variations of the Y chromosome and acrocentric autosomes were synapomorphic characters in the divergence and those of metacentric autosomes were autapomorphic characters. Multilocalization of rDNA in the hominoid could also be interpreted as a result of translocations in terms of hetero-site crossover followed by a centric fission and formation of an acrocentric chromosome. Based on the observed rearrangements of rDNA and β-sat DNA, we propose the following chromosomal phylogenetic divergence order in hominoids: gibbon-siamang-orangutan-gorilla-human-chimpanzee-bonobo. Our data provide additional evidence that evolution of the hominoid can be effectively studied using cytogenetic approaches.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.