, Volume 143, Issue 5, pp 535–543 | Cite as

Intrachromosomal rearrangements in two representatives of the genus Saltator (Thraupidae, Passeriformes) and the occurrence of heteromorphic Z chromosomes

  • Michelly da Silva dos Santos
  • Rafael Kretschmer
  • Fabio Augusto Oliveira Silva
  • Mario Angel Ledesma
  • Patricia C. M. O’Brien
  • Malcolm A. Ferguson-Smith
  • Analía Del Valle Garnero
  • Edivaldo Herculano Corrêa de Oliveira
  • Ricardo José Gunski


Saltator is a genus within family Thraupidae, the second largest family of Passeriformes, with more than 370 species found exclusively in the New World. Despite this, only a few species have had their karyotypes analyzed, most of them only with conventional staining. The diploid number is close to 80, and chromosome morphology is similar to the usual avian karyotype. Recent studies using cross-species chromosome painting have shown that, although the chromosomal morphology and number are similar to many species of birds, Passeriformes exhibit a complex pattern of paracentric and pericentric inversions in the chromosome homologous to GGA1q in two different suborders, Oscines and Suboscines. Hence, considering the importance and species richness of Thraupidae, this study aims to analyze two species of genus Saltator, the golden-billed saltator (S. aurantiirostris) and the green-winged saltator (S. similis) by means of classical cytogenetics and cross-species chromosome painting using Gallus gallus and Leucopternis albicollis probes, and also 5S and 18S rDNA and telomeric sequences. The results show that the karyotypes of these species are similar to other species of Passeriformes. Interestingly, the Z chromosome appears heteromorphic in S. similis, varying in morphology from acrocentric to metacentric. 5S and 18S probes hybridize to one pair of microchromosomes each, and telomeric sequences produce signals only in the terminal regions of chromosomes. FISH results are very similar to the Passeriformes already analyzed by means of molecular cytogenetics (Turdus species and Elaenia spectabilis). However, the paracentric and pericentric inversions observed in Saltator are different from those detected in these species, an observation that helps to explain the probable sequence of rearrangements. As these rearrangements are found in both suborders of Passeriformes (Oscines and Suboscines), we propose that the fission of GGA1 and inversions in GGA1q have occurred very early after the radiation of this order.


Oscines Suboscines FISH C-banding Inversion 



The authors are grateful to the Animal Diversity Research Group (UNIPAMPA) and Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa (PROPESQ/UNIPAMPA), CAPES, CNPq, SISBIO and Instituto Evandro Chagas for financial and logistic support, and a grant to MAFS from the Welcome Trust in support of the Cambridge Resource Centre for Comparative Genomics.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelly da Silva dos Santos
    • 1
  • Rafael Kretschmer
    • 2
  • Fabio Augusto Oliveira Silva
    • 3
  • Mario Angel Ledesma
    • 4
  • Patricia C. M. O’Brien
    • 5
  • Malcolm A. Ferguson-Smith
    • 5
  • Analía Del Valle Garnero
    • 2
  • Edivaldo Herculano Corrêa de Oliveira
    • 3
    • 6
  • Ricardo José Gunski
    • 2
  1. 1.Programa de Pós-graduação em Genética e Biologia Molecular, PPGBMUniversidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-graduação em Ciências Biológicas, PPGCBUniversidade Federal do PampaSão GabrielBrazil
  3. 3.Faculdade de Ciências Naturais, Instituto de Ciências Exatas e NaturaisUniversidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  4. 4.Parque Ecologico El PumaCandelariaArgentina
  5. 5.Department of Veterinary Medicine, Cambridge Resource Centre for Comparative GenomicsUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  6. 6.Laboratório de Cultura de Tecidos e Citogenética, SAMAMInstituto Evandro ChagasAnanindeuaBrazil

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