Comparative chromosome painting of pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) karyotypes with human and dromedary camel probes
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BACKGROUND: Pronghorn (Antilocapridae, 2n = 58) and saola (Bovidae, 2n = 50) are members of Pecora, a highly diversified group of even-toed hoofed mammals. Karyotypes of these species were not involved in chromosome painting studies despite their intriguing phylogenetic positions in Pecora. RESULTS: To trace the chromosome evolution during very fast radiation of main families from the common Pecoran ancestor, high-resolution comparative chromosome maps of pronghorn and saola with human (HSA) and dromedary camel (CDR) painting probes were established. The human and dromedary camel painting probes revealed 50 and 64 conserved segments respectively in the pronghorn genome, while 51 and 63 conserved segments respectively in the saola genome. Integrative analysis with published comparative maps showed that inversions in chromosomes homologous to CDR19/35/19 (HSA 10/20/10), CDR12/34/12 (HSA12/22/12/22), CDR10/33/10 (HSA 11) are present in representatives of all five living Pecoran families. The pronghorn karyotype could have formed from a putative 2n = 58 Pecoran ancestral karyotype by one fission and one fusion and that the saola karyotype differs from the presumed 2n = 60 bovid ancestral karyotype (2n = 60) by five fusions. CONCLUSION: The establishment of high-resolution comparative maps for pronghorn and saola has shed some new insights into the putative ancestral karyotype, chromosomal evolution and phylogenic relationships in Pecora. No cytogenetic signature rearrangements were found that could unite the Antilocapridae with Giraffidae or with any other Pecoran families. Our data on the saola support a separate position of Pseudorigyna subtribe rather than its affinity to either Bovina or Bubalina, but the saola phylogenetic position within Bovidae remains unresolved.
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