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Hereditas. 2002;137(2):101-6.

Chromosome analysis using different staining techniques and fluorescent in situ hybridization in Cerithium vulgatum (Gastropoda: Cerithiidae).

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biologia Animale, Università di Palermo, Palermo, Italy.


In the present paper one population of the large" subtidal mollusc Cerithium vulgatum Bruguière, 1792 (Gastropoda: Cerithiidae) from the Northwestern coast of Sicily was investigated from a karyological point of view. The chromosome complement was Giemsa stained, conventionally karyotyped in 18 homomorphic chromosome pairs (10 bi-armed and 8 mono-armed), and subsequently analysed using silver, CMA3 and DAPI staining, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with three repetitive DNA probes [ribosomal DNA (rDNA), (TTAGGG)n and (GATA)n]. FISH with the rDNA probe consistently mapped major ribosomal sites (18S-28S rDNA) in the terminal region of the short arms of one small sized mono-armed chromosome pair. Ribosomal DNA was transciptionally active as indicated by its preferential impregnation with silver nitrate (Ag-NOR) and did not contain a high amount of GC base pairs as suggested by the lack of a bright CMA3 fluorescence. The (TTAGGG)n telomeric probe was hybridized to the termini of nearly all chromosomes, thus demonstrating that, in C. tulgatum, this sequence has been conserved during the genomic evolution. The finding of the telomeric hexanucleotide in six species belonging to the three high taxa of Gastropoda supports the notion that this sequence is widespread within this class. The (GATA)n probe did not label any chromosome regions except for a minute terminal area of a single bivalent at pachytene stage.

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