Biology Faculty Articles

Title

Chromosome Painting Shows That Skunks (Mephitidae, Carnivora) Have Highly Rearranged Karyotypes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2008

Publication Title

Chromosome Research

Keywords

Evolution, Karyotype, Procyonidae, Raccoon, Skunk, Stone marten

ISSN

0967-3849

Volume

16

Issue/No.

8

First Page

1215

Last Page

1231

Abstract

The karyotypic relationships of skunks (Mephitidae) with other major clades of carnivores are not yet established. Here, multi-directional chromosome painting was used to reveal the karyological relationships among skunks and between Mephitidae (skunks) and Procyonidae (raccoons). Representative species from three genera of Mephitidae (Mephitis mephitis, 2n = 50; Mephitis macroura, 2n = 50; Conepatus leuconotus, 2n = 46; Spilogale gracilis, 2n = 60) and one species of Procyonidae (Procyon lotor, 2n = 38) were studied. Chromosomal homology was mapped by hybridization of five sets of whole-chromosome paints derived from stone marten (Martes foina, 2n = 38), cat, skunks (M. mephitis; M. macroura) and human. The karyotype of the raccoon is highly conserved and identical to the hypothetical ancestral musteloid karyotype, suggesting that procyonids have a particular importance for establishing the karyological evolution within the caniforms. Ten fission events and five fusion events are necessary to generate the ancestral skunk karyotype from the ancestral carnivore karyotype. Our results show that Mephitidae joins Canidae and Ursidae as the third family of carnivores that are characterized by a high rate of karyotype evolution. Shared derived chromosomal fusion of stone marten chromosomes 6 and 14 phylogenetically links the American hog-nosed skunk and eastern spotted skunk.

Comments

©Springer 2008

ORCID ID

0000-0001-7353-8301

ResearcherID

N-1726-2015

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