Karyotype Evolution in Birds: From Conventional Staining to Chromosome Painting.
In the last few decades, there have been great efforts to reconstruct the phylogeny of Neoaves based mainly on DNA sequencing. Despite the importance of karyotype data in phylogenetic studies, especially with the advent of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) techniques using different types of probes, the use of chromosomal data to clarify phylogenetic proposals is still minimal. Additionally, comparative chromosome painting in birds is restricted to a few orders, while in mammals, for example, virtually all orders have already been analyzed using this method. Most reports are based on comparisons using Gallus gallus probes, and only a small number of species have been analyzed with more informative sets of probes, such as those from Leucopternis albicollis and Gyps fulvus, which show ancestral macrochromosomes rearranged in alternative patterns. Despite this, it is appropriate to review the available cytogenetic information and possible phylogenetic conclusions. In this report, the authors gather both classical and molecular cytogenetic data and describe some interesting and unique characteristics of karyotype evolution in birds.