Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 201–214 | Cite as

Chromosomal evolution of neotropical cichlids: the role of repetitive DNA sequences in the organization and structure of karyotype

  • Carlos Henrique Schneider
  • Maria Claudia Gross
  • Maria Leandra Terencio
  • Roberto Ferreira Artoni
  • Marcelo Ricardo Vicari
  • Cesar Martins
  • Eliana Feldberg
Research Paper


Cichlids are important in the aquaculture and ornamental fish trade and are considered models for evolutionary biology. However, most studies of cichlids have investigated African species, and the South American cichlids remain poorly characterized. Studies in neotropical regions have focused almost exclusively on classical cytogenetic approaches without investigating physical chromosomal mapping of specific sequences. The aim of the present study is to investigate the genomic organization of species belonging to different tribes of the subfamily Cichlinae (Cichla monoculus, Astronotus ocellatus, Geophagus proximus, Acaronia nassa, Bujurquina peregrinabunda, Hoplarchus psittacus, Hypselecara coryphaenoides, Hypselecara temporalis, Caquetaia spectabilis, Uaru amphiacanthoides, Pterophyllum leopoldi, Pterophyllum scalare, and Symphysodon discus) and reexamine the karyotypic evolutionary patterns proposed for this group. Variations in some cytogenetic markers were observed, although no trends were found in terms of the increase, decrease, or maintenance of the basal diploid chromosome number 2n = 48 in the tribes. Several species were observed to have 18S rDNA genetic duplications, as well as multiple rDNA loci. In most of the taxa analyzed, the 5S rDNA was located in the interstitial region of a pair of homologous chromosomes, although variations from this pattern were observed. Interstitial telomere sites were also observed and appear to be involved in chromosomal rearrangement events and the accumulation of repeat-rich satellite DNA sequences. Our data demonstrated the karyotypic diversity that exists among neotropical cichlids, suggesting that most of this diversity is due to the repetitive sequences present in heterochromatic regions and that repeat sequences have greatly influenced the karyotypic evolution of these fishes.


Karyotype evolution Interstitial telomeric sites Fluorescent in situ hybridization Ribosomal DNA 



This study was supported by the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa and Desenvolvimento Tecnológico (CNPq—140816/2009-7), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia/Biologia de Água Doce e Pesca Interior (INPA/BADPI), Fundação de Amparo de Pesquisas do Amazonas (PRONEX FAPEAM/CNPq 003/2009), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) and the Center for Studies of Adaptation to Environmental Changes in the Amazon (INCT ADAPTA, FAPEAM/CNPq 573976/2008-2).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Henrique Schneider
    • 1
  • Maria Claudia Gross
    • 2
  • Maria Leandra Terencio
    • 1
  • Roberto Ferreira Artoni
    • 3
  • Marcelo Ricardo Vicari
    • 3
  • Cesar Martins
    • 4
  • Eliana Feldberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Genética AnimalInstituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA)ManausBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Citogenômica, Departamento de Biologia, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal do AmazonasManausBrazil
  3. 3.Laboratório de Citogenética e Evolução, Departamento de Biologia Estrutural, Molecular e GenéticaUniversidade Estadual de Ponta GrossaPonta GrossaBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Genômica Integrativa, Departamento de Morfologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho (UNESP)BotucatuBrazil

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