Derived karyotypes in two elephantfish genera (Hyperopisus and Pollimyrus): lowest chromosome number in the family Mormyridae (Osteoglossiformes)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2021
Authors:Simanovsky, S., Medvedev, D., Tefera, F., Golubtsov A.
Date Published:Oct-08-2021
ISSN:1993-078X, 1993-0771

The African weakly electric elephantfish family Mormyridae comprises 22 genera and almost 230 species. Up-to-date cytogenetic information was available for 17 species representing 14 genera. Here we report chromosome number and morphology in Hyperopisus bebe (Lacepède, 1803) and Pollimyrus isidori (Valenciennes, 1847) collected from the White Nile system in southwestern Ethiopia. Both taxa displayed the diploid chromosome number 2n = 40, but they differed in fundamental numbers: FN = 66 in H. bebe and FN = 72 in P. isidori; previously the same diploid chromosome number 2n = 40 was reported in an undescribed species of Pollimyrus Taverne, 1971 (FN = 42) from the same region. Our results demonstrate that not only pericentric inversions, but fusions also played a substantial role in the evolution of the mormyrid karyotype structure. If the hypothesis that the karyotype structure with 2n = 50–52 and prevalence of the uni-armed chromosomes close to the ancestral condition for the family Mormyridae is correct, the most derived karyotype structures are found in the Mormyrus Linnaeus, 1758 species with 2n = 50 and the highest number of bi-armed elements in their compliments compared to all other mormyrids and in Pollimyrus isidori with the highest number of bi-armed elements among the mormyrids with 2n = 40.

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