, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 211–217

Dissection of a Y-autosome translocation in Cryptomys hottentotus (Rodentia, Bathyergidae) and implications for the evolution of a meiotic sex chromosome chain

  • J. L. Deuve
  • N. C. Bennett
  • A. Ruiz-Herrera
  • P. D. Waters
  • J. Britton-Davidian
  • T. J. Robinson
Research Article


We describe the outcome of a comprehensive cytogenetic survey of the common mole-rat, Cryptomys hottentotus, based on G and C banding, fluorescence in situ hybridisation and the analysis of meiotic chromosomes using immunostaining of proteins involved in the formation of synaptonemal complex (SCP1 and SCP3). We identified the presence of a Y-autosome translocation that is responsible for a fixed diploid number difference between males (2n = 53) and females (2n = 54), a character that likely defines the C. hottentotus lineage. Immunostaining, combined with C banding of spermatocytes, revealed a linearised sex trivalent with X1 at one end and X2 at the other, with evidence of reduced recombination between Y and X2 that seems to be heterochromatin dependant in the C. hottentotus lineage. We suggest that this could depict the likely initial step in the differentiation of a true neo-X, and that this may mimic an early stage in the mammalian meiotic chain formation, an evolutionary process that has been taken to an extreme in a monotreme mammal, the platypus.

Supplementary material

412_2007_140_Fig1_ESM.gif (86 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1

Double-colour FISH on C. h. natalensis metaphase chromosomes using H. glaber the chromosome painting probes HGL5+6 detected with Cy3 (in pink) and HGL23 detected with FITC (in green). The hybridised chromosomes numbers refer to the C. h. natalensis karyotype presented Fig. 1. (a) The two HGL23 signals (green) corresponds to pair 26 in the female, while in the male (b), the signal corresponds to the X2 (chromosome 26) and the translocated partner which is fused to the Y. We included the inverted DAPI-stained images to facilitate the identification of the chromosomes. The horizontal scale bars correspond to 100 μm (GIF 87 kb)

412_2007_140_Fig1_ESM.tif (889 kb)
High resolutuin (TIF 909 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Deuve
    • 1
  • N. C. Bennett
    • 2
  • A. Ruiz-Herrera
    • 1
    • 3
  • P. D. Waters
    • 4
  • J. Britton-Davidian
    • 5
  • T. J. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Evolutionary Genomics Group, Department of Botany and ZoologyUniversity of StellenboschMatielandSouth Africa
  2. 2.Mammal Research Institute, Department of Zoology and EntomologyUniversity of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Genetica e MicrobiologiaUniversita’ degli Studi di PaviaPaviaItaly
  4. 4.Comparative Genomics Group, Research School of Biological SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  5. 5.Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution (UMR5554), Génétique and EnvironnementUniversité Montpellier IIMontpellierFrance

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