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Cytogenet Cell Genet. 1988;49(4):305-8.

On the highest chromosome number in mammals.

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Department of Human Genetics, University of Würzburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


The mitotic and meiotic chromosomes of the semiaquatic rodent Ichthyomys pittieri (Rodentia, Cricetinae) from Venezuela were analyzed by means of conventional staining and several banding techniques. The diploid chromosome number of this rare species is 2n = 92, which is the highest value known for mammals. It is assumed that this exceptionally high chromosome number is the result of repeated centric fissions. The karyotype of I. pittieri was compared with that of Anotomys leander, for which a diploid number of 2n = 92 has also been reported. The karyological relationships existing within the Neotropical Cricetidae are summarized.

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