Centromere positions in chicken and Japanese quail chromosomes: de novo centromere formation versus pericentric inversions

A. Zlotina, S. Galkina, A. Krasikova, R.P.M.A. Crooijmans, M. Groenen, E. Gaginskaya, S. Deryusheva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus, GGA) and Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica, CCO) karyotypes are very similar. They have identical chromosome number (2n = 78) and show a high degree of synteny. Centromere positions on the majority of orthologous chromosomes are different in these two species. To explore the nature of this divergence, we used high-resolution comparative fluorescent in situ hybridization mapping on giant lampbrush chromosomes (LBCs) from growing oocytes. We applied 41 BAC clones specific for GGA1, 2, 3, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 to chicken and quail LBCs. This approach allowed us to rule out a pericentric inversion earlier proposed to explain the difference between GGA1 and CCO1. In addition to a well-established large-scale pericentric inversion that discriminates GGA2 and CCO2, we identified another, smaller one in the large inverted region. For the first time, we described in detail inversions that distinguish GGA3 from CCO3 and GGA11 from CCO11. Despite the newly identified and confirmed inversions, our data suggest that, in chicken and Japanese quail, the difference in centromere positions is not mainly caused by pericentric inversions but is instead due to centromere repositioning events and the formation of new centromeres. We also consider the formation of short arms of quail microchromosomes by heterochromatin accumulation as a third scenario that could explain the discrepancy in centromeric indexes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1032
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • avian lampbrush chromosomes
  • coturnix-coturnix-japonica
  • turkey meleagris-gallopavo
  • karyotype evolution
  • gallus-domesticus
  • dna-sequence
  • molecular characterization
  • synteny conservation
  • satellite dna
  • tandem repeat


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