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Journal Article

Chromosomal Repatterning and Linkage Group Conservation in Mosquito Karyotypic Evolution

T. C. Matthews and L. E. Munstermann
Evolution
Vol. 48, No. 1 (Feb., 1994), pp. 146-154
DOI: 10.2307/2410010
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2410010
Page Count: 9
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Chromosomal Repatterning and Linkage Group Conservation in Mosquito Karyotypic Evolution
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Abstract

Chromosome number and morphology in mosquitoes is remarkably uniform: virtually all mosquitoes have a diploid chromosome number of six (2N = 6), and their chromosomes are invariably metacentric or submetacentric. Numerical changes obviously have not been important in mosquito chromosomal evolution, and because of the morphological similarity of their chromosomes, it appears that structural changes have played little or no role in mosquito karyotypic evolution. The goal of the present study was to identify the types and relative numbers of chromosomal changes in mosquito evolution and to extend the comparison where possible to the higher diptera. To do this, we compared the enzyme linkage maps of six species of Aedes to each other and to enzyme maps of seven other mosquito species and to Drosophila melanogaster. Our results indicate that Aedes chromosomes have been modified by inversions, most which were paracentric, and by translocations, most which were Robertsonian. Intrageneric comparison of Aedes enzyme maps also revealed groups of linked enzyme loci whose integrity has been maintained throughout Aedes evolution (conserved linkages/syntenies). Intergeneric comparisons of Aedes enzyme maps with those of species in the genera Culex, Anopheles, and Toxorhynchites disclosed conserved associations of enzyme loci between mosquito genera. These findings lead us to postulate that the ancestral mosquito karyotype consisted of six chromosomal elements which, other than being combined in different ways in various mosquito groups, have remained essentially intact during mosquito evolution. Furthermore, the identification of groups of linked enzyme loci common to mosquitoes and to D. melanogaster indicates that linkage group conservation may characterize the karyotypic evolution of all dipteran insects.

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