Chromosome banding in salmonid fishes: nucleolar organizer regions in Oncorhynchus

Can J Genet Cytol. 1986 Aug;28(4):502-10. doi: 10.1139/g86-074.


Chromosome banding patterns obtained by silver staining and chromomycin a3 (CMA3) staining were analyzed in six species of Oncorhynchus: O. tshawytscha, O. kisutch, O. keta, O. nerka, and O. gorbuscha from North America and O. masou from Japan. Four different chromosomal locations of the nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) were found in different species. In O. tshawytscha, O. kisutch, and O. masou the NORs comprised the entire short arms of one medium-sized acrocentric chromosome pair. In O. nerka the NORs were found in an interstitial band on the short arms of one submetacentric chromosome pair and in O. gorbuscha proximal to the centromere on one metacentric chromosome pair. In O. keta the NORs were found on the telomeres of one small submetacentric chromosome pair. As in the related genera Salmo and Salvelinus chromomycin A3 positive bands were found at the same sites as the AgNORs in all species. Salmonid fish are assumed to be ancestral tetraploids and the considerable differences in chromosome number between different species are thought to be the result of chromosomal fusions after tetraploidization. In all members of the genus Oncorhynchus the rearrangements have resulted in the consolidation of the NORs on a single chromosome pair. The possible significance of intra- and inter-species NOR polymorphisms is discussed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Banding
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nucleolus Organizer Region / ultrastructure*
  • Salmon / genetics*
  • Species Specificity