The occurrence of repetitive DNA in autosomes and B chromosomes of Bergiaria westermanni was examined using conventional and molecular cytogenetic techniques. This species exhibited 2n = 56 chromosomes, with intra- and interindividual variation in the number of heterochromatic B chromosomes (from 0 to 4). The 5S rDNA was localized in pairs 1 and 5, and histone probes (H1, H3, and H4) and U2 small nuclear RNA were syntenic with 5S rDNA in pair 5. Histone sequences were also located in chromosome pair 14. The (GATA)n sequence was dispersed throughout the autosomes and B chromosomes, with clusters (microsatellite accumulation) in some chromosome regions. The telomeric probe revealed no signs of chromosomal rearrangements in the genome of B. westermanni. The 45S rDNA sites were detected in the terminal region of pair 27; these sites corresponded to a GC-rich heterochromatin block. In addition, 3 of the 4 B chromosomes also contained 45S rDNA copies. Silver nitrate staining in interphase nuclei provided indirect evidence of the expression of these rRNA genes in B chromosomes, indicating the probable origin of these elements. This report shows plasticity in the chromosomal localization of repeat DNA in B. westermanni and features a discussion of genomic diversification.
Keywords: Chromosome banding; FISH; Fish cytogenetics; Histones; Neotropical catfish; U2 snRNA; rDNA.
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