Chromosome Research (Volumen 3: 143-150, 1995) 

Karyotype evolution in holocentric Chromosomes of three related species of triatomines (Hemiptera-Reduviidae)

Francisco Panzera, Ruben Pérez, Yanina Panzera, Fernando Alvarez, Ekaterina Scvortzoff & Roberto Salvatella*

Sección Genética Evolutiva, Facultad de Ciencias, Montevideo, Uruguay.

*Instituto de Higiene, Facultad de Medicina, Montevideo, Uruguay.

C-banded karyotypes, DNA content and the male meiotic process of Triatoma platensis and Triatoma delpontei are compared with those of Triatoma infestans, the main vector of Chagas disease in South America. These three species present the same diploid chromosome number 2n = 22 (20 autosomes + XX /XY). They also have several cytogenetic traits that differ from all other triatomines: large autosomes, C- heterochromatic blocks and meiotic heteropycnotic chromocenters formed by autosomes and sex chromosomes. In spite of these similarities, each species presents different chromosomal behavior during male meiosis, distinct DNA content and a specific amount and localization of the C-hoterochromatin. The differences in DNA content are mainly due to the variation in C-heterochromatin amount,which may be interpreted as loss and/or gain of C-regions. This interpretation is supported by the presence of meiotic and mitotic chromocenters that facilitate the transference of C-positive material. The cytogenetic data presented in this work suggest that T. infestans and T. platensis are more closely related to each other than to T. delpontei. It can also be inferred that the differences in distribution and amount of heterochromatin do not play a direct role in speciation in this group.


Key words: C-banding - Chagas disease - cytogenetics - holocentric chromosomes - Triatoma