A clone of highly repetitive DNA, designated C5, was isolated from DNA of female Chinese muntjac cells. The nucleotide sequence of this clone is 80%-85% homologous to that of the satellite IA clone and other highly repetitive DNA clones previously obtained from the Indian muntjac. Using C5 as a probe for in situ hybridizations to chromosome preparations of cells of both the Chinese and Indian muntjacs, we were able to show that these repeated sequences occur in centromeric heterochromatin of the chromosomes of both Chinese and indian muntjac species. More significantly, non-random clusters of hybridization signals were detected on the arms of chromosomes of the Indian muntjac. These latter hybridization sites are postulated to be regions of interstitial heterochromatin and could be the remnants of centromeric heterochromatin from ancestral Chinese muntjac chromosomes. Our observations provide new supportive evidence for the tandem chromosome fusion theory that has been proposed for the evolution of the Indian muntjac karyotype.
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