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Hereditas. 2011 Jun;148(3):110-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-5223.2011.02218.x. Epub 2011 May 12.

Polymorphic organization of constitutive heterochromatin in Equus asinus (2n = 62) chromosome 1.

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Dipartimento di Genetica e Microbiologia Adriano Buzzati-Traverso, Università di Pavia, Pavia, Italy.


In the karyotype of Equus asinus (domestic donkey, 2n = 62), non-centromeric heterochromatic bands have been described in subcentromeric and telomeric positions. In particular, chromosome 1 is characterised by heterochromatic bands in the proximal region of the long arm and in the short arm; it has been shown that these regions are polymorphic in size. Here we investigated the variation in the intensity and distribution of fluorescence signals observed on donkey chromosome 1 after in situ hybridization with two DNA probes containing fragments from the two major equine satellite DNA families. Our results show that, in Equus asinus chromosome 1, the amount and distribution of large clusters of satellite DNA can define at least nine polymorphic variants of the constitutive heterochromatin that cannot be detected by C-banding alone.

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