Rachycentron canadum, the only representative of the family Rachycentridae, has been the focus of biotechnological interest due to its significant potential in marine fish farming. The chromosome set of this species has been widely investigated with respect to the location of genes and multigene families. A FISH analysis was performed using 4 multigene families as probes, represented by 5S and 18S ribosomal genes and histones H2B-H2A and H3. Earlier data suggested that differential replication of heterochromatin could be partially associated with functional genes. Indeed, our results showed that the DNA contained in heterochromatic regions of R. canadum contains 5S and 18S ribosomal genes as well as the gene sequences of histones H2B-H2A and H3, which were colocalized. The distribution of H3 sequences in all heterochromatic regions, except in 13q, could indicate an important evolutionary role for this class of repetitive sequences. Besides, the presence of chromosome regions bearing multifunctional repetitive sequences formed by H2B-H2A/H3/18S rDNA and H2B-H2A/H3/5S rDNA clusters was demonstrated for the first time in fishes. The implications of differential histone gene extension and its functionality in the karyotype of R. canadum remain unknown.
© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.