Cytogenetic studies of Hynobiidae (Urodela)XVIII. A ZZ/ZW sex-determining mechanism in a hynobiid salamander species, Hynobius tokyoensis Tago

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2002;99(1-4):194-9. doi: 10.1159/000071593.


The karyotype of Hynobius tokyoensis (2n = 56) was analyzed using three kinds of banding methods to determine the morphological differentiation of the sex chromosomes of this species. Salamanders and egg sacs were collected from seven localities around Tokyo, Japan. Of 28 chromosome pairs, microchromosome No. 21 was identified as a ZZ/ZW-type sex chromosome. The Z chromosome was acrocentric, whereas the W chromosome was submetacentric, with a heterochromatic, elongated short arm. Interestingly, the W chromosome is of three distinct types, W(A), W(B), and W(C), based on R-banding and Ag-NOR patterns. W(A) was detected in five populations from southern habitats, whereas W(B) and W(C) were detected in one population each from northern habitats. W(A), W(B), and W(C) were all found to carry Ag-NORs on their heterochromatic short arms. Considering the karyotypes of other species belonging to the same genus, we discuss the evolution of the sex chromosomes of H. tokyoensis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Banding
  • Cytogenetic Analysis / methods*
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Japan
  • Karyotyping
  • Male
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics
  • Sex Determination Processes*
  • Sex Differentiation / genetics
  • Urodela / genetics*