Gymnotiformes are an important component of the Neotropical ichthyofauna and they are known for their ability to generate and detect electrical discharges. Phylogenetic relationships of Gymnotiformes are still not well understood. However, the monophyly of the superfamily Rhamphichthyoidea is well accepted, despite the position of tribe Steatogenini (Steatogenys, Hypopygus and Stegostenopos) within this superfamily is unclear. The genus Steatogenys includes three species that, together with Hypopygus and Stegostenopos, form tribe Steatogenini. Cytogenetic information is currently only available for Hypopygus lepturus. Here, we describe the karyotypes of Steatogenys elegans from four localities and S. duidae from two localities. S. elegans was found to have 2n = 50, ZZ/ZW (12m-sm/38st-a), while S. duidae had 2n = 50 (50m-sm). In S. elegans, constitutive heterochromatin (CH) was observed in the centromeric regions of all chromosomes, in the interstitial region of 1q, and in two blocks of Wq. In S. duidae, CH was observed in the centromeric and pericentromeric regions of all chromosomes, and in the interstitial regions of 2q, 3q, 5q, and 7q. Nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) were identified in the distal regions of one chromosome pair in each species. The CMA3 fluorochrome (specific to G-C rich regions) coincided with the NORs in both species, and with the HC of S. elegans except on chromosome pair 5 and the W. The DAPI fluorochrome (specific to A-T rich regions) coincided with the CH of both species, and was very intense for chromosome pair 5 and the W of S. elegans. Our observations suggest that the ZZ/ZW system observed in S. elegans likely evolved through CH addition followed by a paracentric inversion. The chromosomal data described herein are consistent with the phylogenetic hypothesis that tribe Steatogenini should be positioned within family Ramphychthyidae.
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 2, 2011
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