Amphibian species have the largest genome size enriched with repetitive sequences and relatively similar karyotypes. Moreover, many amphibian species frequently hybridize causing nuclear and mitochondrial genome introgressions. In addition, hybridization in some amphibian species may lead to clonality and polyploidization. All such events were found in water frogs from the genus Pelophylax. Among the species within the genus Pelophylax, P. esculentus complex is the most widely distributed and well-studied. This complex includes two parental species, P. ridibundus and P. lessonae, and their hybrids, P. esculentus, reproducing hemiclonally. Parental species and their hybrids have similar but slightly polymorphic karyotypes, so their precise identification is still required. Here, we have developed a complete set of 13 chromosome painting probes for two parental species allowing the precise identification of all chromosomes. Applying chromosomal painting, we identified homologous chromosomes in both parental species and orthologous chromosomes in their diploid hemiclonal hybrids. Comparative painting did not reveal interchromosomal exchanges between the studied water frog species and their hybrids. Using cross-specific chromosome painting, we detected unequal distribution of the signals along chromosomes suggesting the presence of species-specific tandem repeats. Application of chromosomal paints to the karyotypes of hybrids revealed differences in the intensity of staining for P. ridibundus and P. lessonae chromosomes. Thus, both parental genomes have a divergence in unique sequences. Obtained chromosome probes may serve as a powerful tool to unravel chromosomal evolution in phylogenetically related species, identify individual chromosomes in different cell types, and investigate the elimination of chromosomes in hybrid water frogs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-342
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Early online date25 Nov 2023
StatePublished - Nov 2023

    Research areas

  • Chromosomal painting, Chromosome evolution, Clonal hybrids, Cytogenetics, Fluorescence in situ hybridization, Pelophylax esculentus complex, Anura/genetics, Chromosome Painting, Ranidae/genetics, Animals, Karyotyping, Karyotype, Rana esculenta/genetics

ID: 114374987