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Aquatic Biology

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AB 10:193-200 (2010)  -  DOI:

Cytogenetics of Hediste diversicolor (Annelida: Polychaeta) and comparative karyological analysis within Nereididae

Alexandra Leitão1,*, Susana Carvalho1, Radhouan Ben-Hamadou2, Miguel B. Gaspar1

1Instituto Nacional de Recursos Biológicos (INRB, I.P.)/IPIMAR, Av. 5 de Outubro s/n, 8700-305 Olhão, Portugal
2Centro de Ciências do Mar (CCMAR), EcoReach Research Group, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

ABSTRACT: The karyotype of the common ragworm Hediste diversicolor (OF Müller 1776) (Polychaeta, Nereididae) was determined for the first time; it comprised 8 metacentric, 2 submetacentric and 4 subtelocentric chromosome pairs. In a few metaphases, we observed an easily distinguishable undersized supernumerary chromosome. Recent taxonomic revisions of the family Nereididae have highlighted the need for further studies in several genera. To understand the taxonomic relationships in this family, we carried out a comparative karyological analysis through multivariate analyses (principal component analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis), using morphological and structural features of karyotypes, between H. diversicolor and 10 other Nereididae species. This analysis showed the distinctiveness of H. limnicola, H. diversicolor and Nereis oligohalina, which could be explained by the presence of 3 or 4 morphological categories of chromosomes in these species. The remaining species presented more symmetrical karyotypes with only 2 morphological categories and were grouped in 2 main clusters, mainly due to different percentages of metacentric chromosomal pairs. This study highlights the importance of cytogenetics in taxonomic studies of polychaetes.

KEY WORDS: Chromosomes · Hediste diversicolor · Karyotype · Nereididae · Polychaeta · Taxonomy

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Cite this article as: Leitão A, Carvalho S, Ben-Hamadou R, Gaspar MB (2010) Cytogenetics of Hediste diversicolor (Annelida: Polychaeta) and comparative karyological analysis within Nereididae. Aquat Biol 10:193-200.

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