The Contribution of Cytogenetics to the Systematics of Reptiles

E. Olmo, T. Capriglione, G. Odierna, L. Kupriyanova


The karyology of more than 1300 species of reptiles were studied till now, using cytological standard, banding and molecular methods. These studies gave an important contribution to the knowledge of the systematics and phylogeny of all the order of reptiles. Indeed they evidenced differences in karyotypical evolutionary rates and chromosome organisation between turtles and crocodiles on one hand and lizards and snakes on the other. Moreover, they provided information on the role of chromosome rearrangements in speciation and in other evolutionary processes. Very useful were also the results regarding the genetic mechanisms of sex determination, especially in squamates, and the identification of the steps of sex chromosomes differentiation.


cytogenetics; chromosome structure; chromosome evolutionary rate; speciation; sex chromosomes

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