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Chromosome variation in the plethodontid salamander, Aneides ferreus

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Karyotype variation in the plethodontid salamander, Aneides ferreus, has been analysed. 358 individuals from 14 populations, representing the major portion of the range of this salamander, have been karyologically examined. In A. ferreus, n=14. When the chromosomes are arranged in a decreasing relative length series, the karyotype is heteromorphic with respect to chromosome number 13, which may be either telocentric (T) or subtelocentric (ST). Variation in the heteromorphism over the range of the species is sex related, and probably also reflects relative population sizes. The heteromorphism in the isolated populations of A. ferreus on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, resembles a WZfemale/ZZmale sex chromosome dimorphism, suggesting the possibility that chromosome number 13 may be involved in sex determination in this population. The possibility that chromosome number 13 is involved in sex determination in all populations of A. ferreus is discussed. Our data suggest that the ancestral A. ferreus karyotype was homomorphic for T (T/T), and that the ST was derived from the T by a pericentric inversion. In peripheral populations, only the “W homologue” has been affected, whereas in central populations both the “W” and the “Z” chromosomes have been rearranged. Comparisons are made with other species of Aneides for which karyological information is available, and it is concluded that chromosome rearrangements have played an important role in the evolution of the genus. In C-banded chromosomes of A. ferreus, staining is most intense at the centromere regions of the larger chromosomes and is absent only in some of the smaller chromosomes. Implications of this C-banding pattern are discussed.

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Kezer, J., Sessions, S.K. Chromosome variation in the plethodontid salamander, Aneides ferreus . Chromosoma 71, 65–80 (1979).

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  • Chromosome Number
  • Chromosome Rearrangement
  • Centromere Region
  • Central Population
  • Relative Population