Evolution of sex-chromosomes in lacertid lizards
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The occurrence and form of sex chromosomes were investigated with the aid of C-banding and 4′-6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining in 13 species of lacertid lizards. The results obtained show the presence in five species of a female heterogamety in which the two sex chromosomes have the same shape and size, but the W differs from the Z in being almost entirely heterochromatic. This condition is clearly similar to that found in some snakes and considered to be an early stage of differentiation of sex chromosomes by Singh et al. (1976, 1980). A more evolved condition may be that found in three other species in which the W is distinctly smaller than the Z. A third situation is that found in all Podarcis species which, even though they are considered to be among the more evolved species in the family, possess two sex chromosomes that are indistinguishable. In general, the situation in lacertids may be compatible with the hypothesis of sex chromosome evolution put forward by Singh et al. (1976, 1980). However a differentiation mechanism of this kind does not seem to be well established in lacertids, and is probably not the only mechanism that is in operation in this family.
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