Chromosome Research

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 563–574 | Cite as

Cytogenetic analysis of the Asian Plethodontid salamander, Karsenia koreana: Evidence for karyotypic conservation, chromosome repatterning, and genome size evolution

  • Stanley K. SessionsEmail author
  • Matthias Stöck
  • David R. Vieites
  • Ryan Quarles
  • Mi-Sook Min
  • David B. Wake


A cytogenetic analysis, including the karyotype, C-bands, silver-stained nucleolus organizer regions and genome size, was performed on the recently discovered species, Karsenia koreana, the first plethodontid salamander from Asia. The karyotype consists of 14 pairs of bi-armed chromosomes, with no evidence of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. C-banding reveals a concentration of heterochromatin at the centromeres as well as at interstitial locations. The smallest chromosome (pair number 14) has symmetrical interstitial C-bands in each arm, resembling chromosome no. 14 of North American species of its sister group taxon, supergenus Hydromantes. Acomparative analysis of C-band heterochromatin and silver-stained nucleolus organizer regions of Karsenia and other plethodontid genera reveals that chromosomal evolution may have featured chromosome ‘repatterning’ within the context of conserved chromosome number and shape in this clade. Genome size is correlated with geographic distribution in plethodontids and appears to have important phenotypic correlates as well. The genome size of Karsenia is relatively large, and resembles that of the geographically closest plethodontids from western North America, especially species of the genus Hydromantes. The biological significance of these cytogenetic characteristics of plethodontid salamanders is discussed within an evolutionary context.

Key words

cytogenetics evolution genome size Karsenia Plethodontidae salamander 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley K. Sessions
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matthias Stöck
    • 2
  • David R. Vieites
    • 3
  • Ryan Quarles
    • 1
  • Mi-Sook Min
    • 4
  • David B. Wake
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiologyHartwick CollegeOneontaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolution (DEE)University of Lausanne, UNILBiophoreSwitzerland
  3. 3.Museum of Vertebrate Zoology and Department of Integrative BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.Conservation Genome Resource Bank for Korean Wildlife, BK21 Program for Veterinary Science, Laboratory of Wildlife Conservation Genetics, College of Veterinary MedicineSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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