The laboratory mouse (Mus musculus, 2n = 40), the Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus, 2n = 22), and the golden (Syrian) hamster (Mesocricetus auratus, 2n = 44) are common laboratory animals, extensively used in biomedical research. In contrast with the mouse genome, which was sequenced and well characterized, the hamster species has been set aside. We constructed a chromosome paint set for the golden hamster, which for the first time allowed us to perform multidirectional chromosome painting between the golden hamster and the mouse and between the two species of hamster. From these data we constructed a detailed comparative chromosome map of the laboratory mouse and the two hamster species. The golden hamster painting probes revealed 25 autosomal segments in the Chinese hamster and 43 in the mouse. Using the Chinese hamster probes, 23 conserved segments were found in the golden hamster karyotype. The mouse probes revealed 42 conserved autosomal segments in the golden hamster karyotype. The two largest chromosomes of the Chinese hamster (1 and 2) are homologous to seven and five chromosomes of the golden hamster, respectively. The golden hamster karyotype can be transformed into the Chinese hamster karyotype by 15 fusions and 3 fissions. Previous reconstructions of the ancestral murid karyotype proposed diploid numbers from 2n = 52 to 2n = 54. By integrating the new multidirectional chromosome painting data presented here with previous comparative genomics data, we can propose that syntenies to mouse Chrs 6 and 16 were both present and to hypothesize a diploid number of 2n = 48 for the ancestral Murinae/Cricetinae karyotype.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2006
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