Chromosome numbers are not fixed in Agaonidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea)
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Agaonidae (the pollinators of fig trees, Ficus spp., Moraceae) are a distinctive family of chalcid wasps with uncertain affinities within the Chalcidoidea. Chromosome numbers have only been described previously for one species (Blastophaga psenes, 2n = 12, the pollinator of F. carica, of subgenus Ficus). In this paper, we used a modified technique to analyze the karyology of three Ceratosolen species, Ceratosolen solmsi, C. graveli and C. emarginatus which are associated with figs of Ficus subgenus Sycomorus. Their karyotypes are 2n = 10. All the chromosomes are metacentric (NF = 20) with little difference in relative lengths, making them hard to distinguish. The variation in chromosome numbers that we have detected suggests that karyology can usefully complement molecular-based studies of the phylogeny of fig wasps.
KeywordsCeratosolen Chromosomes Fig wasps Karyology
This work was funded by the Chinese Natural Science Foundation (30970403, 30970439) and also supported by grants from the Key Laboratory of Forest Disaster Warning and Control Program of Southwest Forestry University (ZK10B302). We express our sincere gratitude to V.E. Gokhman (Botanical Garden, Moscow State University) and Wen-hui Nie (Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science) for their good suggestions on the experiment and Rodrigo A. S. Pereira for commenting on an earlier version of the manuscript. We thank Sun Fuping for his help on image processing. We also thank Cao Yong-qiang, Yang Pei, Li Zong-bo, Ma Wen-juan, Xi Yi-cui, Miao Bai-ge and Wang Gang for their assistance.
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