, Volume 140, Issue 4–6, pp 125–136 | Cite as

Diversity of tuco-tucos (Ctenomys, Rodentia) in the Northeastern wetlands from Argentina: mitochondrial phylogeny and chromosomal evolution

  • Diego A. Caraballo
  • Giselle A. Abruzzese
  • María Susana RossiEmail author


Tuco-tucos (small subterranean rodents of the genus Ctenomys) that inhabit sandy soils of the area under the influence of the second largest wetland of South America, in Northeastern Argentina (Corrientes province), are a complex of species and forms whose taxonomic status were not defined, nor are the evolutionary relationships among them. The tuco-tuco populations of this area exhibit one of the most ample grades of chromosomal variability within the genus. In order to analyze evolutionary relationships within the Corrientes group and its chromosomal variability, we completed the missing karyotypic information and performed a phylogenetic analysis. We obtained partial sequences of three mitochondrial markers: D-loop, cytochrome b and cytochrome oxidase I. The Corrientes group was monophyletic and split into three main clades that grouped related karyomorphs. The phylogeny suggested an ancestral condition of the karyomorph with diploid number (2n) 70 and fundamental number (FN) 84 that has evolved mainly via reductions of the FN although amplifications occurred in certain lineages. We discuss the relationship between patterns of chromosomal variability and species and groups boundaries. From the three main clades the one named iberá exhibited a remarkable karyotypic homogeneity, and could be considered as an independent and cohesive evolutionary lineage. On the contrary, the former recognized species C. dorbignyi is a polyphyletic lineage and hence its systematic classification should be reviewed.


Ctenomys Mitochondrial phylogeny Chromosomal evolution Cytochrome b D-loop Cytochrome oxidase I 



This work was supported by grants from the Agencia Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (PICT 3836/1) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (PIP 5776) from Argentina. D.A.C. is supported by a doctoral fellowship awarded by CONICET. M. S. R. is career investigator of the CONICET. We would like to thank Diana Avedikian, Pablo Belluscio, Paola Jablonski and Pablo Rebagliati. We also would like to thank Rodrigo Álvarez, Thales R. de Freitas, María Jimena Gómez Fernández, Marcelo Kittlein, Fernando Mapelli, Patricia Mirol, Matías Mora, Vanina Raimondi, Verónica Trucco Cano, and Laura Wolfenson for assistance at the fieldwork. Finally we thank two anonymous reviewers whose comments have improved the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diego A. Caraballo
    • 1
  • Giselle A. Abruzzese
    • 1
  • María Susana Rossi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.IFIBYNE-CONICET. Laboratorio de Fisiología y Biología Molecular, Dep. Fisiología, Biología Molecular y CelularUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina

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