Open Access Research article

Cytological maps of lampbrush chromosomes of European water frogs (Pelophylax esculentus complex) from the Eastern Ukraine

Dmitry Dedukh1, Glib Mazepa23, Dmitry Shabanov3, Juriy Rosanov4, Spartak Litvinchuk4, Leo Borkin5, Alsu Saifitdinova1 and Alla Krasikova1*

Author Affiliations

1 Saint-Petersburg State University, Oranienbaumskoie sch. 2, Stary Peterhof, Saint-Petersburg 198504, Russia

2 Department of Ecology and Genetic, Population Biology and Conservation Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, EBC Norbyvägen 18 D, Uppsala 75236, Sweden

3 V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Svobody Sq. 4, Kharkiv 61022, Ukraine

4 Institute of Cytology Russian Academy of Sciences, Tikhoretsky pr. 4, St. Petersburg 194064, Russia

5 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaia nab.1, St. Petersburg 199034, Russia

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BMC Genetics 2013, 14:26  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-14-26

Published: 16 April 2013



Hybridogenesis (hemiclonal inheritance) is a kind of clonal reproduction in which hybrids between parental species are reproduced by crossing with one of the parental species. European water frogs (Pelophylax esculentus complex) represent an appropriate model for studying interspecies hybridization, processes of hemiclonal inheritance and polyploidization. P. esculentus complex consists of two parental species, P. ridibundus (the lake frog) and P. lessonae (the pool frog), and their hybridogenetic hybrid – P. esculentus (the edible frog). Parental and hybrid frogs can reproduce syntopically and form hemiclonal population systems. For studying mechanisms underlying the maintenance of water frog population systems it is required to characterize the karyotypes transmitted in gametes of parental and different hybrid animals of both sexes.


In order to obtain an instrument for characterization of oocyte karyotypes in hybrid female frogs, we constructed cytological maps of lampbrush chromosomes from oocytes of both parental species originating in Eastern Ukraine. We further identified certain molecular components of chromosomal marker structures and mapped coilin-rich spheres and granules, chromosome associated nucleoli and special loops accumulating splicing factors. We recorded the dissimilarities between P. ridibundus and P. lessonae lampbrush chromosomes in the length of orthologous chromosomes, number and location of marker structures and interstitial (TTAGGG)n-repeat sites as well as activity of nucleolus organizer. Satellite repeat RrS1 was mapped in centromere regions of lampbrush chromosomes of the both species. Additionally, we discovered transcripts of RrS1 repeat in oocytes of P. ridibundus and P. lessonae. Moreover, G-rich transcripts of telomere repeat were revealed in association with terminal regions of P. ridibundus and P. lessonae lampbrush chromosomes.


The constructed cytological maps of lampbrush chromosomes of P. ridibundus and P. lessonae provide basis to define the type of genome transmitted within individual oocytes of P. esculentus females with different ploidy and from various population systems.

Centromere; Chromosome; European water frog; Hybridization; Karyotype; Non-coding RNA; Nuclear body; Oocyte; Telomere