Comparative cytogenetics in three species of Wood-Warblers (Aves: Passeriformes: Parulidae) reveal divergent banding patterns and chromatic heterogeneity for the W chromosome


  • Alice Lemos Costa Universidade Federal do Pampa
  • Cassiane Furlan Lopes Universidade Federal do Pampa
  • Marcelo Santos de Souza Universidade Federal do Pampa
  • Suziane Alves Barcellos Universidade Federal do Pampa
  • Pâmela Giordani Vielmo Universidade Federal do Pampa
  • Ricardo José Gunski Universidade Federal do Pampa
  • Analía Del Valle Garnero Universidade Federal do Pampa



Chromosome Evolution, Karyotype, Diploid Number, Chromosomal Banding, Constitutive Heterochromatin


Chromosomal rearrangements are an important process in the evolution of species. It is assumed that these rearrangements occur near repetitive sequences and heterochromatic regions. Bird karyotypes have diverse chromosomal band patterns and have been used as the parameters for phylogenetic studies. Although the group has a high diversity of species, no more than 12% has been analysed cytogenetically, and the Parulidae family are extremely underrepresented in these studies. The aim of this study was to detect independent or simultaneous chromosomal rearrangements, and also analyze chromosomal banding convergences and divergences of three species of Wood-Warblers: Myiothlypis leucoblephara, Basileuterus culicivorus, and Setophaga pitiayumi. Our CBG-band results reveal an unusual W sex chromosome in the three studied species, containing a telomeric euchromatic region. The GTG and RBG bands identify specific regions in the macrochromosomes involved in the rearrangements. Our cytogenetic data confirm the identification of speciation processes at the karyotypic in this group.


Carvalho MVP. 1989. Estudos Citogenéticos na Família Fringillidae (Passeriformes-Aves). UFRGS, Porto Alegre.
Christidis L. 1990. Animal Cytogenetics 4: Chordata 3 B: Aves, pp 55–57. Gebrüder Borntraeger, Berlin.
Christidis L. 1989. Chromosomal evolution within the family Estrildidae (Aves) I. The Poephilae. Genetica 71:81–97.
Furo IO, Kretschmer R, Dos Santos MS, Carvalho CAL, Gunski RJ, et al. 2017. Chromosomal mapping of repetitive DNAs in Myiopsitta monachus and Amazona aestiva (Psittaciformes, Psittacidae: Psittaciformes), with emphasis on the sex chromosomes. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 151:151–160.
Garnero AD, Ledesma MA, Gunski RJ. 2006. Alta homeologia cariotípica na família Tinamidae (Aves: Tinamiformes). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 14:53-58.
Garnero AV, Gunski RJ. 2000. Comparative analysis of the karyotypes of Nothura maculosa and Rynchotus rufescens (Aves: Tinamidae). A case of chromosomal polymorphism. Nucleus-Calcutta - International Journal of Cytology 43:64-70.
Glover TW, Stein CK. 1988. Chromosome breakage and recombination at fragile sites. American Journal of Human Genetics 43:265.
Griffin DK, Robertson LB, Tempest HG, Skinner BM. 2007. The evolution of the avian genome as revealed by comparative molecular cytogenetics. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 117: 64–77.
Guerra MS. 1986. Reviewing the chromosome nomenclature of Levan et al. Brazilian Journal of Genetics 9:741-743.
Gunski RJ, Kretschmer R, De Souza MS, De Oliveira FI, Barcellos SA, et al. 2019. Evolution of Bird Sex Chromosomes Narrated by Repetitive Sequences: Unusual W Chromosome Enlargement in Gallinula melanops (Aves: Gruiformes: Rallidae). Cytogenetic and Genome Research 157:01-08.
Hobart HH. 1991. Comparative karyology in nine-primaried oscines (Aves). UMI, Arizona.
Kretschmer R, Ferguson-Smith M, De Oliveira E: Karyotype Evolution in birds. 2018. From conventional staining to chromosome painting. Genes 9:181.
Ladjali KM, Tixier-Boichard M, Gibiu EP. 1995. High resolution chromosome preparations for G- and R- Banding in Gallus domesticus. Journal of Heredity 86: 136–139.
Ledesma MA, Martinez PA, Calderón OS, Boeris JM, Meriles JM. 2006. Descrição do cariótipo e padrões de bandas C e NOR em Pheucticus aureoventris (Emberizidae: Cardinalinae). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 14:59-62.
Mohanty MK, Bhunya SP. 1990. Karyological studies in four species of ardeid birds (Ardeldae, Ciconiiformes). Genetica 81:211-214.
Nanda I, Benisch P, Fetting D, Haaf T, Schmid M. 2011. Synteny Conservation of Chicken Macrochromosomes 1–10 in Different Avian Lineages Revealed by Cross-Species Chromosome Painting. Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 132:165–181.
Nanda I, Schmid M. 1994. Localization of the telomeric (TTAGGG)n sequence in chicken (Gallus domesticus) chromosomes. Cytogenet Cell Gene 65:190–193.
Nascimento JAD, Carvalho FIFD, Barbosa NJF, Federizzi LC. 1994. Agentes mutagênicos e a intensidade de variabilidade genética no caráter estatura de plantas de aveia (Avena sativa L.). Ciência Rural 24:291-297.
Nishida-Umehara C, Tsuda Y, Ishijima J, Ando J, Fujiwara A. 2007. The molecular basis of chromosome orthologies and sex chromosomal differentiation in palaeognathous birds. Chromosome Research 15:721-734.
Ouchia SB, Ladjali KM. 2018. Banding cytogenetics of the Barbary partridge Alectoris barbara and the Chukar partridge Alectoris chukar (Phasianidae): a large conservation with Domestic fowl Gallus domesticus revealed by high resolution chromosomes. Comparative Cytogenetics 12:171.
Popescu P, Hayes H. 2000. Techniques in animal cytogenetics. INRA, France.
Schnedl W. 1971. Analysis of the human karyotype using a reassociation technique. Chromosoma 34:448-454.
Souza MSD, Barcellos SA, Costa AL, Kretschmer R, Garnero ADV, et al. 2019. Polymorphism of Sooty-fronted Spinetail (Synallaxis frontalis Aves: Furnariidae): Evidence of chromosomal rearrangements by pericentric inversion in autosomal macrochromosomes. Genetics and Molecular Biology 42:62-67.
Stock A D, Bunch TD. 1982. The evolutionary implications of chromosome banding pattern homologies in the bird order Galliformes. Cytogenetic and Genome Research 34:136–148.
Sumner AT. 1972. A simple technique for demonstrating centromeric heterochromatin. Exp Cell Res 75: 304–306.
Takagi N, Sasaki M. 1974. A phylogenetic study of bird karyotypes. Chromosoma 46:91-120.




How to Cite

Lemos Costa, A., Furlan Lopes, C., Santos de Souza, M., Alves Barcellos, S., Giordani Vielmo, P., José Gunski, R., & Del Valle Garnero, A. (2021). Comparative cytogenetics in three species of Wood-Warblers (Aves: Passeriformes: Parulidae) reveal divergent banding patterns and chromatic heterogeneity for the W chromosome. Caryologia. International Journal of Cytology, Cytosystematics and Cytogenetics.