Variation of C-bands in the chromosomes of several subspecies of Rattus rattus

Chromosoma. 1975;50(3):283-300. doi: 10.1007/BF00283472.


All subspecies of black rats (Rattus rattus) used in the present study are characterized by having large and clear C-bands at the centromeric region. The appearance of the bands, however, is different in the subspecies. Chromosome pair No. 1 in Asian type black rats (2n=42), which are characterized by an acrocentric and subtelocentric polymorphism, showed C-band polymorphism. In Phillipine rats (R. rattus mindanensis) the pair was subtelocentric with C-bands, but in Malayan black rats (R. rattus diardii) it was usually acrocentric with C-bands. In Hong-Kong (R. rattus flavipectus) and Japanese black rats (R. rattus tanezumi) it was polymorphic with respect to the presence of acrocentrics with C-bands or subtelocentrics without C-bands. The other chromosomes pairs showed clear C-bands, but in Hong-Kong black rats the pairs No. 2 and 5 were polymorphic with and without C-bands. In Japanese black rats, 6 chromosome pairs (No. 3, 4, 7, 9, 11 and 13) were polymorphic in regard to presence and absence of C-bands, but the other 5 chromosome pairs (No. 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10) showed always absence of C-bands. Only pair No. 12 usually showed C-bands. C-bands in small metacentric pairs (No. 14 to 20) in Asian type black rats generally large in size, but those in the Oceanian (2n=38) and Ceylon type black rats (2n=40) were small. In the hybrids between Asian and Oceanian type rats, heteromorphic C-bands, one large and the other small, were observed. Based on the consideration of karyotype evolution in the black rats, the C-band is suggested to have a tendency toward the diminution as far as the related species are concerned.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Australia
  • Biological Evolution
  • Chromosomes / analysis*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genetics, Population
  • Heterochromatin / analysis*
  • Hong Kong
  • Hybridization, Genetic
  • India
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Karyotyping
  • Malaysia
  • North America
  • Philippines
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Rats*
  • Species Specificity
  • Sri Lanka


  • Heterochromatin