Cross-species chromosome painting among camel, cattle, pig and human: further insights into the putative Cetartiodactyla ancestral karyotype
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The great karyotypic differences between camel, cattle and pig, three important domestic animals, have been a challenge for comparative cytogenetic studies based on conventional cytogenetic approaches. To construct a genome-wide comparative chromosome map among these artiodactyls, we made a set of chromosome painting probes from the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) by flow sorting and degenerate oligonucleotide primed-PCR. The painting probes were first used to characterize the karyotypes of the dromedary camel (C. dromedarius), the Bactrian camel (C. bactrianus), the guanaco (Lama guanicoe), the alpaca (L. pacos) and dromedary × guanaco hybrid karyotypes (all with 2n = 74). These FISH experiments enabled the establishment of a high-resolution GTG-banded karyotype, together with chromosome nomenclature and idiogram for C. dromedarius, and revealed that these camelid species have almost identical karyotypes, with only slight variations in the amount and distribution patterns of heterochromatin. Further cross-species chromosome painting between camel, cattle, pig and human with painting probes from the camel and human led to the establishment of genome-wide comparative maps. Between human and camel, pig and camel, and cattle and camel 47, 53 and 53 autosomal conserved segments were detected, respectively. Integrated analysis with previously published comparative maps of human/pig/cattle enabled us to propose a Cetartiodactyla ancestral karyotype and to discuss the early karyotype evolution of Cetartiodactyla. Furthermore, these maps will facilitate the positional cloning of genes by aiding the cross-species transfer of mapping information.