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Biochemical genetics of chromosome forms of Venezuelan spiny rats of the proechimys guairae and proechimys trinitatis superspecies


Spiny rats from Venezuela show an extensive karyotypic diversification (2n=24 to 2n=62) and little morphological differentiation. This study reports genetic distance, heterozygosity and polymorphism based upon 22 loci in semispecies and allospecies of the Proechimys guairae superspecies from N Central Venezuela, as compared with Proechimys urichi, a member of the Proechimys trinitatis superspecies from eastern Venezuela. Four chromosome forms of the P. guairae complex are included, each characterized by karyotypes of 2n=46 (Fundamental Number=72), 2n=48 (FN=72), 2n=50 (FN=72) and 2n=62 (FN=74). Proechimys urichi has a distinetive karyotype of 2n=62 (FN=88). The overall mean value of Nei's genetic identity index for all pair-wise comparisons is I=0.942±0.011. Mean identity within the P. guairae complex is Ī=0.969±0.033. Mean identity between P. urichi and members of that complex is Ī=0.889±0.011. Within the P. guairae complex, increased genetic divergence is correlated with higher karyotypic divergence. Heterozygosity varies from H=0.059 to H=0.153, with a mean value of H0.059. The mean percent of polymorphic loci is P=18.2±3.9 after the '0,95%' polymorphism criterion, and P=20,5±5.2 after the '0.99%' criterion. These results are compared with similar data from fossorial and non-fossorial rodents. Spiny rats are non-fossorial, forest-dwelling rodents which have undergone a speciation process with little genetic divergence and extensive chromosome rearrangements. © 1979 Dr. W. Junk b.v. - Publishers.

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