Evolution by polyploidy in Amphibia: new insights

Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1998;80(1-4):28-33. doi: 10.1159/000014952.


Polyploidy is an important mechanism of evolution in lower vertebrates, resulting in gene duplication and loci duplication evolving to diploidization. In polyploid anurans DNA is increased, but RNA and protein synthesis is kept at the same levels as in their diploid counterparts. Recent cytogenetic findings in Odontophrynus americanus show: (1) amphiplasty and asynchrony of the cell division cycle in 4n and (2) intra- and interindividual alterations of chromosome 4 morphology in 4n and 2n through breaks at secondary constrictions and at/or around the centromeres, followed by the appearance of changes of centromeres position, dicentrics, bisatellited chromosomes, precocious sister-chromatid segregation, and loss or unequal segregation of the chromosomes. This genome instability suggests the presence of chromosomal aberrations with chromodomain alterations at the centromeres affecting the mechanisms ensuring normal segregation of the chromatids in anaphase of mitosis and meiosis. Cell division asynchrony and chromosome abnormalities, novel findings in polyploids, are discussed respectively in function of gene activity and putative translocations producing polymorphisms in nucleolus organizers and secondary constrictions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amphibians / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • DNA Replication
  • Diploidy
  • Humans
  • Polyploidy*