Main content area

New insights into sex chromosome evolution in anole lizards (Reptilia, Dactyloidae)

Giovannotti, M., Trifonov, V. A., Paoletti, A., Kichigin, I. G., O’Brien, P. C. M., Kasai, F., Giovagnoli, G., Ng, B. L., Ruggeri, P., Cerioni, P. Nisi, Splendiani, A., Pereira, J. C., Olmo, E., Rens, W., Caputo Barucchi, V., Ferguson-Smith, M. A.
Chromosoma 2017 v.126 no.2 pp. 245-260
Anolis, autosomes, chromosome mapping, chromosome painting, chromosome translocation, diploidy, evolution, genes, karyotyping, lizards, sex chromosomes
Anoles are a clade of iguanian lizards that underwent an extensive radiation between 125 and 65 million years ago. Their karyotypes show wide variation in diploid number spanning from 26 (Anolis evermanni) to 44 (A. insolitus). This chromosomal variation involves their sex chromosomes, ranging from simple systems (XX/XY), with heterochromosomes represented by either micro- or macrochromosomes, to multiple systems (X₁X₁X₂X₂/X₁X₂Y). Here, for the first time, the homology relationships of sex chromosomes have been investigated in nine anole lizards at the whole chromosome level. Cross-species chromosome painting using sex chromosome paints from A. carolinensis, Ctenonotus pogus and Norops sagrei and gene mapping of X-linked genes demonstrated that the anole ancestral sex chromosome system constituted by microchromosomes is retained in all the species with the ancestral karyotype (2n = 36, 12 macro- and 24 microchromosomes). On the contrary, species with a derived karyotype, namely those belonging to genera Ctenonotus and Norops, show a series of rearrangements (fusions/fissions) involving autosomes/microchromosomes that led to the formation of their current sex chromosome systems. These results demonstrate that different autosomes were involved in translocations with sex chromosomes in closely related lineages of anole lizards and that several sequential microautosome/sex chromosome fusions lead to a remarkable increase in size of Norops sagrei sex chromosomes.