New paper in Animals


Insights into the Karyotype Evolution of Charinidae, the Early-Diverging Clade of Whip Spiders (Arachnida: Amblypygi)

Reyes Lerma AC, Šťáhlavský F, Seiter M, Carabajal Paladino LZ, Divišová K, Forman M, Sember A, Král J. 2021 
Animals. 2021; 11(11):3233. Link. Published online 12 November 2021


Whip spiders (Amblypygi) represent an ancient order of tetrapulmonate arachnids with a low diversity. Their cytogenetic data are confined to only a few reports. Here, we analyzed the family Charinidae, a lineage almost at the base of the amblypygids, providing an insight into the ancestral traits and basic trajectories of amblypygid karyotype evolution. We performed Giemsa staining, selected banding techniques, and detected 18S ribosomal DNA and telomeric repeats by fluorescence in situ hybridization in four Charinus and five Sarax species. Both genera exhibit a wide range of diploid chromosome numbers (2n = 42–76 and 22–74 for Charinus and Sarax, respectively). The 2n reduction was accompanied by an increase of proportion of biarmed elements. We further revealed a single NOR site (probably an ancestral condition for charinids), the presence of a (TTAGG)n telomeric motif localized mostly at the chromosome ends, and an absence of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. Our data collectively suggest a high pace of karyotype repatterning in amblypygids, with probably a high ancestral 2n and its subsequent gradual reduction by fusions, and the action of pericentric inversions, similarly to what has been proposed for neoamblypygids. The possible contribution of fissions to charinid karyotype repatterning, however, cannot be fully ruled out.