, Volume 116, Issue 2, pp 159–173 | Cite as

Comparison of the Z and W sex chromosomal architectures in elegant crested tinamou (Eudromia elegans) and ostrich (Struthio camelus) and the process of sex chromosome differentiation in palaeognathous birds

  • Yayoi Tsuda
  • Chizuko Nishida-Umehara
  • Junko Ishijima
  • Kazuhiko Yamada
  • Yoichi Matsuda
Research Article


To clarify the process of avian sex chromosome differentiation in palaeognathous birds, we performed molecular and cytogenetic characterization of W chromosome-specific repetitive DNA sequences for elegant crested tinamou (Eudromia elegans, Tinamiformes) and constructed comparative cytogenetic maps of the Z and W chromosomes with nine chicken Z-linked gene homologues for E. elegans and ostrich (Struthio camelus, Struthioniformes). A novel family of W-specific repetitive sequences isolated from E. elegans was found to be composed of guanine- and cytosine-rich 293-bp elements that were tandemly arrayed in the genome as satellite DNA. No nucleotide sequence homologies were found for the Struthioniformes and neognathous birds. The comparative cytogenetic maps of the Z and W chromosomes of E. elegans and S. camelus revealed that there are partial deletions in the proximal regions of the W chromosomes in the two species, and the W chromosome is more differentiated in E. elegans than in S. camelus. These results suggest that a deletion firstly occurred in the proximal region close to the centromere of the acrocentric proto-W chromosome and advanced toward the distal region. In E. elegans, the W-specific repeated sequence elements were amplified site-specifically after deletion of a large part of the W chromosome occurred.



We express our appreciation to Yokohama Zoological Gardens, Yokohama, for providing skin and blood samples of elegant crested tinamou, and Kimiyuki Tsuchiya for skin samples of ostrich. This work was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (nos. 15370001 and 16086201) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yayoi Tsuda
    • 1
  • Chizuko Nishida-Umehara
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junko Ishijima
    • 2
  • Kazuhiko Yamada
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yoichi Matsuda
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cytogenetics, Division of Bioscience, Graduate School of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Laboratory of Animal Cytogenetics, Division of Genome Dynamics, Creative Research Initiative “Sousei”Hokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Chromosome Science Labo Inc.SapporoJapan

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