A cytogenetic study was conducted on four species of the genus Urvillea (Sapindaceae, Paullinieae): U. chacoensis Hunz., U. filipes Radlk. and U. ulmacea Kunth of the Urvillea section and U. laevis Radlk. of the Stenelytron section. The chromosome numbers in U. chacoensis (2n = 22) and U. laevis (2n = 24) were confirmed, and new chromosome numbers are reported for U. filipes with 2n = 22 and U. ulmacea with 2n = 88. Additionally, data on interphase nuclear structure, chromosome banding patterns (C-Giemsa and C-CMA3/DAPI) and FISH with rDNA probes are also presented. The distribution of AT- and GC-rich regions and the physical mapping of ribosomal genes (45S and 5S rDNA sites) were established for the first time in these Urvillea species. Sections of Urvillea are cytogenetically differentiated according to basic chromosome number, where x = 11 in the section Urvillea and x = 12 in the section Stenelytron. This first section displayed an important karyotypic feature, the occurrence of large AT- and GC-rich bands at terminal chromosomal regions. The Urvillea section showed polyploidy and its species were differentiated by their banding patterns. Urvillea chacoensis showed several terminal AT-rich bands, while terminal AT- and GC-rich bands were both found in U. ulmacea. However, the section Stenelytron did not exhibit this banding pattern. The 45S rDNA sites appeared always associated with GC-rich regions and they were numerically variable among species, being located or not the same chromosome 5S rDNA sites. Variation in the repetitive DNA distribution and their role in karyotype differentiation among these Urvillea species are discussed.
Banding pattern FISH heterochromatin Paullinieae rDNA Urvillea