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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2004;106(2-4):189-94.

Distribution and stability of supernumerary microchromosomes in natural populations of the Amazon molly, Poecilia formosa.

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Institutes of Physiological Chemistry I and Human Genetics, Biocenter, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.


In animals, supernumerary chromosomes and their evolution have mostly been studied in sexual reproducing species. In the present study, for the first time, the natural distribution and stability of supernumerary microchromosomes were investigated in the unisexual fish species Poecilia formosa. Natural habitats throughout the range of P. formosa were screened for the presence of microchromosomes over several years. A high frequency of microchromosomes was found in the Río Purificación river system. Evidence points to the presence of the same microchromosome lineage over many generations. No supernumerary chromosomes were found elsewhere than in the Río Purificación representing a significant difference in the distribution of microchromosome-bearing individuals between the Río Purificación and all other collection sites.

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