Interstitial telomeric sites (ITSs) are considered as signatures of chromosomal rearrangements that take place during karyotype evolution. Understanding that equids have undergone rapid karyotype evolution compared with the average in other mammals, a search of these signatures was carried out in the Hartmann's mountain zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae; EZH) chromosomes. Six consistent ITSs were identified on five of the zebra chromosomes (EZH1p, 1q, 2q, 5q, 6q and 11q). The location of these ITSs coincided with fusion points of some of the evolutionarily conserved human - Hartmann's zebra chromosomal segments suggesting that the sequences are remnants of fusion events between ancestral chromosomes. Incidentally, three of the ITSs also matched with the presence of constitutive heterochromatin. Further, ribosomal gene clusters were localized on five zebra chromosomes and the data were compared with those in other equid species. The findings offer preliminary evidence on the likely evolution of some of the Hartmann's zebra chromosomes and add to the current search for clues that lead to the ancestral chromosomal configuration in equids.
- Hartmann's zebra
- In-situ hybridization fluorescence
- Nucleolus organizer
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