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Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 28;9(1):3001. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39034-3.

Insights into the karyotype and genome evolution of haplogyne spiders indicate a polyploid origin of lineage with holokinetic chromosomes.

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Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 5, 128 44, Prague 2, Czech Republic.
Department of Genetics and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 5, 128 44, Prague 2, Czech Republic.
Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of the Free State, P.O. Box 339, Bloemfontein, 9300, South Africa.
Crop Research Institute, Drnovská 73, 161 06, Prague 6, Ruzyně, Czech Republic.
Department of Zoology and Centre for Invasion Biology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, 0950, South Africa.
Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Entomology, Branišovská 31, 370 05, České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
Department of Botany and Zoology, Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kotlářská 2, 611 37, Brno, Czech Republic.


Spiders are an ancient and extremely diverse animal order. They show a considerable diversity of genome sizes, karyotypes and sex chromosomes, which makes them promising models to analyse the evolution of these traits. Our study is focused on the evolution of the genome and chromosomes in haplogyne spiders with holokinetic chromosomes. Although holokinetic chromosomes in spiders were discovered a long time ago, information on their distribution and evolution in these arthropods is very limited. Here we show that holokinetic chromosomes are an autapomorphy of the superfamily Dysderoidea. According to our hypothesis, the karyotype of ancestral Dysderoidea comprised three autosome pairs and a single X chromosome. The subsequent evolution has frequently included inverted meiosis of the sex chromosome and an increase of 2n. We demonstrate that caponiids, a sister clade to Dysderoidea, have enormous genomes and high diploid and sex chromosome numbers. This pattern suggests a polyploid event in the ancestors of caponiids. Holokinetic chromosomes could have arisen by subsequent multiple chromosome fusions and a considerable reduction of the genome size. We propose that spider sex chromosomes probably do not pose a major barrier to polyploidy due to specific mechanisms that promote the integration of sex chromosome copies into the genome.

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