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Open Access Research article

Chromosome phylogeny of the subfamily Pitheciinae (Platyrrhini, Primates) by classic cytogenetics and chromosome painting

Liane FM Finotelo14, Paulo JS Amaral15, Julio C Pieczarka13, Edivaldo HC de Oliveira1, Alcides Pissinati6, Michaela Neusser2, Stephan Müller2 and Cleusa Y Nagamachi13*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratório de Citogenética, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil

2 Institut für Humangenetik, Klinikum der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany

3 CNPq Researcher, Belém, Brazil

4 FAPESPA Doctorship Scholarship in Neurociences and Celular Biology, Belém, Brazil

5 FAPESPA Doctorship Scholarship in Genetics and Molecular Biology, Belém, Brazil

6 Centro de Primatologia do Rio de Janeiro, Niterói, Brazil

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BMC Evolutionary Biology 2010, 10:189  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-189

Published: 20 June 2010

Abstract

Background

The New World monkey (Platyrrhini) subfamily Pitheciinae is represented by the genera Pithecia, Chiropotes and Cacajao. In this work we studied the karyotypes of Pithecia irrorata (2n = 48) and Cacajao calvus rubicundus (2n = 45 in males and 2n = 46 in females) by G- and C-banding, NOR staining and chromosome painting using human and Saguinus oedipus whole chromosome probes. The karyotypes of both species were compared with each other and with Chiropotes utahicki (2n = 54) from the literature.

Results

Our results show that members of the Pitheciinae have conserved several chromosome forms found in the inferred ancestral Platyrrhini karyotype (associations of human homologous segments 3a/21, 5/7a, 2b/16b, 8a/18, 14/15a and 10a/16a). Further, the monophyly of this subfamily is supported by three chromosomal synapomorphies (2a/10b, an acrocentric 15/14 and an acrocentric human 19 homolog). In addition, each species presents several autapomorphies. From this data set we established a chromosomal phylogeny of Pitheciinae, resulting in a single most parsimonious tree.

Conclusions

In our chromosomal phylogeny, the genus Pithecia occurred in a more basal position close to the inferred ancestor of Platyrrhini, while C. c. rubicundus and C. utahicki are closely related and are linked by exclusive synapomorphies.