, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 163–179 | Cite as

Genome evolution in pocket gophers (genus Thomomys)

II. Variation in cellular DNA content
  • Steven W. Sherwood
  • James L. Patton


Cellular DNA content (2 C-value) was measured by fluorescence flow cytometry of chromomycin-A3 stained spleen cells in 2 subgenera, 5 species, and 21 subspecies of pocket gophers (genus Thomomys). The data indicate that, in Thomomys: (1) interspecific variation is extensive but, while some congeneric species differ by as much as 230%, others are identical in C-value; (2) intraspecific differentiation can be extensive with C-values differing by as much as 35%; and (3) populations of the same subspecies with apparently similar karyotypes can differ significantly in C-value. The implications of these results for hypotheses of the “adaptive” significance of C-value variation and genome evolution are discussed.


Flow Cytometry Developmental Biology Spleen Cell Genome Evolution Interspecific Variation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bachmann, K., Goin, O.B., Goin, C.J.: Nuclear DNA amounts in vertebrates. In: Evolution of genetic systems (H.H. Smith, ed.). New York: Gordon and Breach, 1972Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, M.D.: Nuclear DNA content and minimum mitotic time in herbaceous plants. Proc. roy. Soc. Lond. Ser. B. 181, 109–135 (1972)Google Scholar
  3. Bennett, M.D., Smith, J.B.: Nuclear DNA amounts in angiosperms. Phil. Trans. roy. Soc. Lond. Ser. B 2274, 227 (1976)Google Scholar
  4. Bostock, C.J., Gosden, J.R., Mitchell, A.R.: Localization of a male-specific DNA fragment to a sub-region of the human Y chromosome. Nature (Lond.) 272, 324–328 (1978)Google Scholar
  5. Callis, J., Hoehn, H.: Flow-fluorometric diagnosis of euploid and aneuploid human lymphocytes. Am. J. Human Genet. 28, 577–584 (1976)Google Scholar
  6. Cavalier-Smith, T.: Nuclear volume control by nucleoskeleton DNA, selection for cell volume and cell growth rate, and solution of the C-value paradox. J. Cell Sci. 34, 247–278 (1978)Google Scholar
  7. Comings, D.E., Avelino, E.: DNA loss during Robertsonian fusion studies of the tobacco mouse. Nature (Lond.) New Biol. 237, 199 (1972)Google Scholar
  8. Crissman, H.A., Tobey, R.A.: Cell cycle analysis in 20 minutes. Science 184, 1297–1298 (1974)Google Scholar
  9. Crissman, H.A., Oka, M.S., Steinkamp, J.A.: Rapid staining methods for analysis of deoxyribonucleis acid and protein in mammalian cells. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 24, 64–71 (1976)Google Scholar
  10. Crissman, H.A., Stevenson, A.P., Kissane, R.J., Tobey, R.A.: Techniques for quantitative staining of cellular DNA for flor cytometric analysis. In: Flow sytometry and sorting (M.R. Melamed et al., eds.) New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. (1979)Google Scholar
  11. Dean, P., Jett, J.H.: Mathematical analysis of DNA distributions derived from flow microfluorometry. J. Cell Biol. 60 523–532 (1974)Google Scholar
  12. Deaven, L.L., Vidal-Rioja, L., Jett, J.H., Hsu, T.C.: Chromosomes of Peromyscus (Rodentia, Cricetidae). VI. Genomic size. Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 19, 241–249 (1977)Google Scholar
  13. Doolittle, W.F., Sapienza, C.: Selfish genes, the phenotype paradigm and genome evolution. Nature (Lond.) 284, 601–603 (1980)Google Scholar
  14. Dover, G.: Ignorant DNA? Nature (Lond.) 285, 618–619 (1981)Google Scholar
  15. Goin, O.B., Goin, C.J., Bachmann, K.: DNA and amphibian life history. Copeia 1968 Google Scholar
  16. Gosden, J.R., Lowrie, S.S., Cooke, H.J.: 1981. A cloned repeated DNA sequence in human chromosome heteromorphisms. Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 29, 32–39 (1981)Google Scholar
  17. Hatch, F.T., Bodner, A.J., Mazrimas, J.A.: Satellite DNA and cytogenetic evolution. Chromosoma (Berl.) 58, 155–168 (1976)Google Scholar
  18. Hinegardner, P.: Evolution of genome size. In: Molecular evolution (F.J. Ayala, ed.). Sunderland (Mass.): Sinauer Press (1976)Google Scholar
  19. Hutchinson, J., Narayan, R.K.J., Rees, H.: Constraints on the composition of supplementary DNA. Chromosoma (Berl.) 78, 137–145 (1980)Google Scholar
  20. Jensen, R.H.: Chromomycin A3 as a fluorescent probe for flor cytometry of human gynecological samples. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 25, 573–579 (1977)Google Scholar
  21. Keyl, H.G.: A demonstrable local and geometric increase in the chromosomal DNA of Chironomus. Experientia (Basel) 21, 191–193 (1965)Google Scholar
  22. Kurnitt, D.M.: Satellite DNA and heterochromatin variants: the case for unequal mitotic crossover. Human Genet. 47, 169–186 (1979)Google Scholar
  23. Lewin, B.: Gene expression 2. Eukaryotic chromosomes. New York: John Wiley and Sons Inc. 1980Google Scholar
  24. Manfredi-Romanini, M.G.M., Minazza, E., Capanna, E.: DNA nuclear content in lymphocytes from Mus musculus L. and Mus poschiavinus (Fatio). Boll. Zool. 38, 321–326 (1971)Google Scholar
  25. Mayr, E.: Animal Species and Evolution. Cambridge (Mass.): Belknap Press, 1963Google Scholar
  26. Mendelsohn, M.L.: The attributes and applications of flow cytometry. Flow cytometry 4, 15–27 (1980)Google Scholar
  27. Mizuno, S., Macgregor, H.C.: Chromosomes, DNA sequences and evolution in salamanders of the genus Plethodon. Chromosoma (Berl.) 48, 239–296 (1974)Google Scholar
  28. Morescalchi, A.: Phylogenetic aspects of karyological evidence. In: Major patterns in vertebrate evolution (M.K. Hecht, P.C. Goody, and B.M. Hecht, eds.). New York: Plenum Press 1977Google Scholar
  29. Nagl, W., Ehrendorfer, F.: DNA content, heterochromatin, mitotic index and growth in perennial and annual Anthemedia (Asteraceae). Plant Syst. Evol. 123, 35–54 (1974)Google Scholar
  30. Ohno, S.: So much “junk” DNA in our genome. Brookhaven Symp. Biol. 23, 366–370 (1972)Google Scholar
  31. Olmo, E., Morescalchi, A.: Evolution of the genome and cell sizes in salamanders. Experientia (Basel) 31, 804–806 (1975)Google Scholar
  32. Patton, J.L.: Karyotypic variation following an elevational gradient in the pocket gopher, Thomomys bottae grahamensis Goldman. Chromosoma (Berl.) 31, 41–50 (1970)Google Scholar
  33. Patton, J.L.: Patterns of geographic variation in karyotype in the pocket gopher, Thomomys bottae (Eydoux and Gervais). Evolution (Lawrence, Kansas) 26, 574–586 (1972)Google Scholar
  34. Patton, J.L.: An analysis of natural hybridization between the pocket gophers, Thomomys bottae and Thomomys umbrinus, in Arizona. J. Mammal. 54, 561–584 (1973)Google Scholar
  35. Patton, J.L.: Chromosomal and genic divergence, population structure, and speciation potential in Thomomys bottae pocket gophers. In: Ecologia y genetica de la especiacion animal (O.A. Reig, ed.), pp. 255–295. Caracas, Venezuela: Esquinoccio 1981Google Scholar
  36. Patton, J.L., Feder, J.H.: Genetic divergence between populations of the pocket gopher, Thomomys umbrinus (Richardson). Z. Säugetier 43, 12–30 (1978)Google Scholar
  37. Patton, J.L., Smith, M.F.: Molecular evolution in Thomomys pocket gophers: phyletic systematics, paraphyly, and rates of evolution. J. Mammal. 62, 493–500 (1981)Google Scholar
  38. Patton, J.L., Sherwood, S.W.: Genome evolution in pocket gophers (genus Thomomys) I. Heterochromatin variation and speciational potential. Chromosoma (Berl.) (in press, 1982)Google Scholar
  39. Patton, J.L., Yang, S.Y.: Genetic variation in Thomomys bottae pocket gophers: macrogeographic patterns. Evolution (Lawrence, Kansas) 31, 697–720 (1977)Google Scholar
  40. Patton, J.L., Hafner, J.C., Hafner, M.S., Smith, M.F.: Hybrid zones in Thomomys bottae pocket gophers: genetic, phenetic, and ecologic concordance patterns. Evolution (Lawrence, Kansas) 33, 860–876 (1979)Google Scholar
  41. Rabinovich, P.S., O'Brien, K., Simpson, M., Callis, J.B., Hoehn, H.: Flow cytogenetics II. High resolution ploidy measurements in human fibroblast cultures. Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 29, 65–76 (1981)Google Scholar
  42. Rees, H.: DNA in higher plants. In: Evolution of genetic systems (H.H. Smith, ed.). New York: Gordon and Breach 1972Google Scholar
  43. Rees, H., Jones, R.N.: The origin of wide species variation in nuclear DNA content. Int. Rev. Cytol. 32, 53–92 (1972)Google Scholar
  44. Robertston, M.: Gene families, hopeful monsters and the selfish genetics of DNA. Nature (Lond.) 293, 333–334 (1981)Google Scholar
  45. Sage, R.D.: Wild mice. In: The mouse in biomedical research, Vol. I (H.L. Foster, J.D. Small, and J.G. Fox, eds.). New York: Academic Press 1981Google Scholar
  46. Sokal, R.R., Rohlf, F.J.: Biometry. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Co. 1969Google Scholar
  47. Sparrow, A.H., Price, H.S., Underbrink, A.G.: A survey of DNA content per cell and per chromosome of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms: some evolutionary considerations. In: Evolution of genetic systems (H.H. Smith, ed.). New York: Gordon and Breach 1972Google Scholar
  48. Szarski, H.: Cell size and nuclear DNA content in vertebrates. Int. Rev. Cytol. 44, 93–111 (1974)Google Scholar
  49. Szilkai, O., El-Lakany, M.H., DeVescovi, M.A.: On the clinical variability in nuclear characteristics of Douglas-fir, its possible causes and applications. Egypt. J. Genet. Cytol. 5, 146–152 (1975)Google Scholar
  50. Tannenbaum, E., Cassidy, M., Alabaster, O., Herman, C.: Measurement of cellular DNA mass by flow microfluorometry with the use of a biological internal standard. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 26, 145–148 (1978)Google Scholar
  51. Thaeler, C.S., Jr.: An analysis of three hybrid populations of pocket gophers (genus Thomomys). Evolution (Lawrence, Kansas) 22, 543–555 (1968)Google Scholar
  52. Thaeler, C.S., Jr.: Chromosome numbers and systematic relations in the genus Thomomys (Rodentia, Geomyidae). J. Mammal. 61 414–422 (1980)Google Scholar
  53. Van't Hoff, S., Sparrow, A.H.: A relationship between DNA content, nuclear volume, and minimum mitotic cycle time. Proc. nat. Acad. Sci. (Wash.) 49, 897–902 (1963)Google Scholar
  54. Wentworth, F.A., Sutton, D.A.: Chromosomes of the Townsend pocket gopher, Thomomys townsendii. Southwestern Naturalist 14, 157–161 (1969)Google Scholar
  55. White, M.J.D.: Animal Cytology and Evolution (3 edit.) and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1973Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven W. Sherwood
    • 1
  • James L. Patton
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Vertebrate ZoologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations