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Gaetano Odierna

Abstract

This study investigates the karyotypes, genome sizc, constitutive heterochromatin, and NOR localization in three European brown frog species: Rana iberica, R. dalmatina and R. graeca. The three species all possess a karyotype of 26 chromosomes. The genome size is respectively 6.9, 9.7 and 11.3 pg/N in R. iberica, R. dalmatina and R. graeca. Constitutive heterochromatin is 1.7% in R. iberica, 3.1 % in R. dalmatina and 7.0% in R. graeca. The NOR is located on the long arm of the 10th chromosome in R. iberica and R. graeca, whereas it is pericentromerically localized on the short arm of the 3rd chromosome in R. dalmatina. A single NOR extrasite is found in R. graeca. Results suggest that European brown frogs have evolved independently from North American and Asian groups. Moreover, the variation observed in constitutive heterochromatin is informative of different amplification levels of satellite-like DNA. Data also suggest that in R. dalmatina NOR localization on the 3rd chromosome may be derivcd by amplification of a pre-existing NOR site.

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Oscar Arribas and Gaetano Odierna

Abstract

Iberolacerta (cyreni) martinezricai has a karyotype of 2n = 36, all acrocentric macrochromosomes. Nucleolar Organizer Regions (NORs) are interstitially situated on a medium small (MS-type) chromosome, a derived character shared with I. cyreni, which differs in details of W-sex chromosome: W is heteromorphic and heterochromatic in I. cyreni, while it is homomorphic and euchromatic in I. (c.) martinezricai. Osteologically, it is characterized by the presence of a triangular-shaped expansion of the squamosal towards the supratemporal fenestra, and by the presence of seven (instead of six) posterior short ribbed presacral vertebrae. These odd characters probably became fixed in this relic taxon by imbreeding. Its differences and affinities are discussed, proposing a specific status for this taxon.

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Gennaro Aprea, Teresa Capriglione, Vincenzo Caputo and Gaetano Odierna

Abstract

Eumeces algeriensis has been considered either a full species or a parapatric race of E. schneiderii. A review of morphological and karyological data indicates that E. algeriensis is reproductively isolated from E. schneiderii, and hence is a good biological species. The two taxa could have originated by an allopatric speciation process, and are clearly now represented by different cytotypes arising from pericentric inversion.

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Miguel Vences, Franco Andreone, Frank Glaw, Gaetano Odierna and Gennaro Aprea

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Gaetano Odierna, Miguel Vences, Gennaro Aprea and Franco Andreone

Abstract

We describe a new species of the genus Mantidactylus found during field inventories in the north-eastern rainforests of Madagascar. Mantidactylus salegy sp. n. reaches a snout-vent length of 45-50 mm, has evident dorsolateral ridges and whitish spots on the upper jaws (mainly in females). The vocal sacs in males are distinctly visible and paired subgular, without strongly inflatable areas recognizable between the blackish lateral skin flaps on the throat. This frog exhibits a mosaic of characters previously thought to be typical for either the subgenera Gephyromantis or Phylacomantis. Therefore, it is a crucial discovery towards better understanding of the relationships between the taxa included in these two subgenera, supporting previous molecular results which indicated their paraphyly. The call of M. salegy consists of a rapid series of 8-11 rattling notes emitted at 1000-3500 Hz. We also provide karyological data for M. salegy, and for several related species, M. granulatus, M. leucomaculatus, M. moseri, M. redimitus, M. zavona, and M. pseudoasper (attributed to the subgenus Phylacomantis) and M. luteus (subgenus Gephyromantis). In terms of general chromosome morphology and structure, NOR localisation and heterochromatin characteristics, M. salegy shows similarities to M. redimitus, M. zavona and M. leucomaculatus, all included within Phylacomantis. Our data confirm that NOR position is a phylogenetically informative character.

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Gaetano Odierna, Augusto Gentilli, Marco Zuffi and Gennaro Aprea

Abstract

In the current paper we show the results obtained using standard and banding staining methods (Ag-NOR-, CMA3-, C-banding and sequential colorations (or Alu I digestions) + CMA3 + DAPI) in specimens of Cerastes vipera, Vipera aspis, V. atra, and V. hugyi. Cerastes vipera presented chromosomal characters, primitive in snakes, as a karyotype of 2n = 36 chromosomes, with 16 biarmed macrochromosomes and 20 microchromosomes, NORs on one microchromosome pair and absence of cytologically evident sex chromosomes, at least with the methods used. The three taxa of Vipera studied showed chromosomal characters either derived, or primitive or at an initial stage of differentiation. All three species showed a karyotype (derived) of 2n = 42 chromosomes with 22 macro- and 20 micro-chromosomes; they all showed NORs on one micro-chromosome pair and presented Z and W chromosomes at an initial stage of differentiation. Sexchromosomes Z and W, were in fact homomorphic, but the former was near all euchromatic, while the W chromosome was almost completely heterochromatic. All the three taxa of Vipera resulted, however, karyologically diversified, mainly due to the number of macro-chromosomes pairs with a centromeric, CMA3 positive heterochromatin: almost all the pairs in V. aspis, two pairs in V. atra and absent in V. hugyi.

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Orfeo Picariello, Gaetano Odierna, Emilio Balletto, Cristina Giacoma and Agnese Petraccioli

Abstract

A karyological study conducted by both conventional and banding staining methods (Ag-NOR-, CMA3, and C-banding) evidenced a peculiar heterochromatin pattern on chromosomes of Moldovan specimens of the agile frog, Rana dalmatina. As is normal for all agile frogs, the Moldovan population presented 2n = 26 chromosomes, with NOR loci on the short arms of the third chromosome pair, but differed in showing heavy centromeric, CMA3 positive C-bands on the seventh chromosome pair, and light centromeric, DAPI positive C-bands on five chromosome pairs. In contrast, Moldovan specimens showed no significant difference in two segments of the 16S mitochondrial rRNA gene and in the S1 satellite DNA sequence and organization, in comparison with the GenBank deposited 16S rDNA and S1 DNA satellite sequences of R. dalmatina. Molecular similarity and chromosomal differences between agile frogs from Moldovan and extra-Moldovan populations are discussed.

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Ettore Olmo, Teresa Capriglione, Vincenzo Caputo, Gaetano Odierna and Herman A.J. in den Bosch