Evolution of sex-chromosomes and formation of W-chromatin in snakes

Ray-Chaudhuri, S. P. ; Singh, L. ; Sharma, T. (1971) Evolution of sex-chromosomes and formation of W-chromatin in snakes Chromosoma, 33 (3). pp. 239-251. ISSN 0009-5915

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Official URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/k8086n02075pm7...

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00284942


The analysis of sex-chromosome complexes and formation of W-chromatin in 16 species of snakes of the families Boidae, Colubridae, Elapidae, and Hydrophiidae, reveal three very pertinent facts. First, the snakes exhibit various states of the differentiation of the Z and W chromosomes, apparently according to the evolutionary status of the families, being homomorphic in primitive families and well differentiated in highly evolved ones. Second, the demonstration of a heteropycnotic body in the interphase nuclei of the families of a large number of species of snakes has definitely shown that the nuclear sexing is possible not only in those species of snakes where the W chromosome is morphologically distinguishable from the Z, but also in those species where it is not so, but shows an asynchrony in the replicating pattern of W. It is suggested that development of allocycly rather than establishment of structural changes is the first step in the differentiation of the W from the Z in snakes. Third, the absence of coexistence of nucleolus and W-chromatin in a condensed state in the interphase nuclei of different tissues in a few species of snakes reported in this paper suggests that the W-chromatin is responsible for the synthesis of the nucleolus in these snakes.

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