Cytogenetic analysis of Epinephelus marginatus (Pisces: Serranidae), with the chromosome localization of the 18S and 5S rRNA genes and of the (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequence
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A cytogenetic analysis was carried out on specimens of Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe, 1834) from three localities in the Mediterranean Sea, to deepen knowledge of the chromosome complement of the species and identify any possible population-specific cytogenetic markers. All specimens had a 2n = 48 acrocentric karyotype with two Ag-, chromomycin A3- and C-positive NORs (nucleolar organizer regions) in the subcentromeric region of the smallest chromosome pair. The constitutive heterochromatin was distributed centromerically. Except for NORs, neither eu- nor heterochromatin show fluorescence after fluorochrome staining, i.e. there is no localized increase of AT- or GC-rich DNA. In all populations, the (TTAGGG)n telomeric sequences are restricted to the telomeres, and the 18S and the 5S rDNA clusters are located on different chromosome pairs. In specimens from Sardinia, additional signals after C-banding, Ag-staining and FISH (fluorescence in situ hybridization) with 18S rDNA can be observed in the telomeric region of one or two large-sized chromosomes, classified as No. 2. This suggests that additional and variable NORs could be detected in the species in addition to those on the genus-specific, NOR-bearing Chromosome Pair 24.
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