Karyotype analyses in members of the four Cactaceae subfamilies were performed. Numbers and karyotype formula obtained were: Pereskioideae = Pereskiaaculeata(2n = 22; 10 m + 1 sm), Maihuenioideae = Maihuenia patagonica (2n = 22, 9 m + 2 sm; 2n = 44, 18 m + 4 sm), Opuntioideae = Cumulopuntia recurvata(2n = 44; 20 m + 2 sm), Cactoideae = Acanthocalycium spiniflorum (2n = 22; 10 m + 1 sm),Echinopsis tubiflora (2n = 22; 10 m + 1 sm), Trichocereus candicans (2n = 22, 22 m). Chromosomes were small, the average chromosome length was 2.3 mum. Diploid species and the tetraploid C. recurvata had one terminal satellite, whereas the remaining tetraploid species showed four satellited chromosomes. Karyotypes were symmetrical. No CMA(-)/DAPI(+) bands were detected, but CMA(+)/DAPI(-) bands associated with NOR were always found. Pericentromeric heterochromatin was found in C. recurvata, A. spiniflorum, and the tetraploid cytotype of M. patagonica. The locations of the 18S-26S rDNA sites in all species coincided with CMA(+)/DAPI(-) bands; the same occurred with the sizes and numbers of signals for each species. This technique was applied for the first time in metaphase chromosomes in cacti. NOR-bearing pair no.1 may be homeologous in all species examined. In Cactaceae, the 18S-26S loci seem to be highly conserved.
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