Polar Biology

, 31:629 | Cite as

Chromosomal characteristics of the temperate notothenioid fish Eleginops maclovinus (Cuvier)

  • F. Mazzei
  • L. Ghigliotti
  • Jean-Pierre Coutanceau
  • H. W. DetrichIII
  • V. Prirodina
  • C. Ozouf-Costaz
  • E. Pisano
Original Paper


The Falkland’s mullet, Eleginops maclovinus, is the only modern representative of the Sub-Antarctic family Eleginopidae, suborder Notothenioidei. Based on specimens from the Falkland Islands/Islas Malvinas, the Magellan Straits, and the southern coast of Chile, we have established the specific karyotype by conventional cytogenetic methods and have mapped the chromosomal loci of the ribosomal genes by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). With respect to the basal notothenioid family Bovichtidae and to the hypothetical basal condition of the suborder (diploid number = 48, fundamental number = 48), E. maclovinus displays a slightly derived karyotype (diploid number = 48, fundamental number = 54). In contrast to the bovichtids, the 45S and 5S ribosomal DNAs are co-localized to a single chromosome pair. Condensation of the ribosomal genes to a single locus is likely to represent an intermediate stage in the evolution of notothenioid karyology. Features unique to E. maclovinus (e.g., morphology of its large, rDNA-bearing chromosome pair) probably result from divergence during the long evolutionary isolation of the family.


Eleginopidae Sub-Antarctic Chromosomes Notothenioidei Fishes 



We gratefully acknowledge the logistic support provided by the captains and crews of the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer and RV Academic Knipovich and by Eduardo Scott and Erika Mutchke, Istituto de la Patagonia (Punta Arenas, Chile). This work was supported by the National Science Foundation grant OPP-0132032 to H. William Detrich (Northeastern University), by the Italian Antarctic Program (PNRA), by the Museum of Natural History of Paris (MNHN), and by the Russian Academy of Science. Publication number 19 from the ICEFISH Cruise of 2004 (H.W.D. Chief Scientist, RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer). For more information visit


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Mazzei
    • 1
  • L. Ghigliotti
    • 1
  • Jean-Pierre Coutanceau
    • 2
  • H. W. DetrichIII
    • 3
  • V. Prirodina
    • 4
  • C. Ozouf-Costaz
    • 2
  • E. Pisano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of GenovaGenovaItaly
  2. 2.Département Systématique et EvolutionCNRS UMR 7138, Muséum National d’Histoire NaturelleParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of BiologyNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Zoological InstituteSt. PetersburgRussia

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