Chromosomal evolution and phylogeny in the Nullicauda group (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae): evidence from multidirectional chromosome painting.
BACKGROUND: The family Phyllostomidae (Chiroptera) shows wide morphological, molecular and cytogenetic variation; many disagreements regarding its phylogeny and taxonomy remains to be resolved. In this study, we use chromosome painting with whole chromosome probes from the Phyllostomidae Phyllostomus hastatus and Carollia brevicauda to determine the rearrangements among several genera of the Nullicauda group (subfamilies Gliphonycterinae, Carolliinae, Rhinophyllinae and Stenodermatinae). RESULTS: These data, when compared with previously published chromosome homology maps, allow the construction of a phylogeny comparable to those previously obtained by morphological and molecular analysis. Our phylogeny is largely in agreement with that proposed with molecular data, both on relationships between the subfamilies and among genera; it confirms, for instance, that Carollia and Rhinophylla, previously considered as part of the same subfamily are, in fact, distant genera. CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of the karyotype considered ancestral for this family in several different branches suggests that the diversification of Phyllostomidae into many subfamilies has occurred in a short period of time. Finally, the comparison with published maps using human whole chromosome probes allows us to track some syntenic associations prior to the emergence of this family.
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