Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 283–290 | Cite as

Interspecific Chromosome Painting Provides Clues to the Ancestral Karyotype of the New World Monkey Genus Aotus

  • Naiara Pereira Araújo
  • Roscoe Stanyon
  • Valéria do Socorro Pereira
  • Marta SvartmanEmail author
Original Paper


The Neotropical monkey genus Aotus (owl or night monkeys) are among the most karyological diverse primates of the world. Their diploid numbers range from 2n = 46 to 58, but even owl monkeys with the same diploid number may have radically different karyotypes. This karyotypic variability has provided precious information for taxonomists and has a potential for aiding phylogenetic analysis of these primates. However, up to now only three out of 11 species have been analyzed with molecular cytogenetic methods. Here, we report on a fourth species, A. infulatus. Females have a diploid number of 2n = 50 while males, due to a Y/autosome translocation, have 49 chromosomes. We provide a complete map of chromosome homology between humans and A. infulatus. Comparisons with previous reports allowed us to propose a putative ancestral karyotype of the genus (2n = 52) and to deduce the rearrangements that were involved in the origin of each species chromosome complement. Integration of chromosome painting and banding analysis suggests at least three chromosomes have evolutionary new centromeres that appeared during the divergence of these four owl monkey species.


Chromosome evolution New World monkeys Phylogenetics Owl monkeys 



This work was supported by a grant from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq Process 4072622013-0) to MS and RS and a PRIN (Programmi di Ricerca Scientifica di Rilevante Interesse Nazionale: 2012TZF8HL_003) to RS. NPA was the recipient of a doctoral fellowship from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratório de Citogenômica Evolutiva, Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Department of BiologyUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  3. 3.Fundação Zoo-Botânica de Belo HorizonteBelo HorizonteBrazil

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