Research Article

Chromosomal characteristics of a Brazilian whip spider (Amblypygi) and evolutionary relationships with other arachnid orders

Published: September 19, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (3) : 3726-3734 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2013.September.19.3
Cite this Article:
E. Paula-Neto, D. Araujo, L.S. Carvalho, D.M. Cella, M.C. Schneider (2013). Chromosomal characteristics of a Brazilian whip spider (Amblypygi) and evolutionary relationships with other arachnid orders. Genet. Mol. Res. 12(3): 3726-3734. https://doi.org/10.4238/2013.September.19.3
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Abstract

We analyzed mitotic and meiotic cells of a Brazilian amblypygid, Heterophrynus longicornis, using conventional and molecular cytogenetic techniques (Giemsa staining, C-banding, Ag-NOR, and FISH with rDNA probe). This is the first study that focuses solely on amblypygid chromosomes; it was undertaken to add data on cytogenetic knowledge of this group and contribute to the understanding of chromosome evolution in the Arachnida. We found 2n = 66 for male and female individuals, monocentric chromosomes, and absence of morphologically differentiated sex chromosomes. C-banding showed heterochromatin in the pericentromeric region of most chromosomes. Mitotic and meiotic nuclei submitted to silver impregnation and FISH revealed, respectively, Ag-NORs and ribosomal genes in the terminal region of two chromosome pairs. Most chromosome features that we observed in H. longicornis are shared with species of other arachnid orders; however, the absence of morphologically differentiated sex chromosomes in amblypygid contrasts with the remarkable variety of sex chromosome systems recorded for the Araneae. Consequently, we conclude that analysis of species of the Tetrapulmonata clade is useful for understanding the trends of sex chromosome evolution in this arachnid group.

We analyzed mitotic and meiotic cells of a Brazilian amblypygid, Heterophrynus longicornis, using conventional and molecular cytogenetic techniques (Giemsa staining, C-banding, Ag-NOR, and FISH with rDNA probe). This is the first study that focuses solely on amblypygid chromosomes; it was undertaken to add data on cytogenetic knowledge of this group and contribute to the understanding of chromosome evolution in the Arachnida. We found 2n = 66 for male and female individuals, monocentric chromosomes, and absence of morphologically differentiated sex chromosomes. C-banding showed heterochromatin in the pericentromeric region of most chromosomes. Mitotic and meiotic nuclei submitted to silver impregnation and FISH revealed, respectively, Ag-NORs and ribosomal genes in the terminal region of two chromosome pairs. Most chromosome features that we observed in H. longicornis are shared with species of other arachnid orders; however, the absence of morphologically differentiated sex chromosomes in amblypygid contrasts with the remarkable variety of sex chromosome systems recorded for the Araneae. Consequently, we conclude that analysis of species of the Tetrapulmonata clade is useful for understanding the trends of sex chromosome evolution in this arachnid group.