Non-Homologous Sex Chromosomes in Two Geckos (Gekkonidae: Gekkota) with Female Heterogamety

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Cytogenetic and Genome Research

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Evaluating homology between the sex chromosomes of different species is an important first step in deducing the origins and evolution of sex-determining mechanisms in a clade. Here, we describe the preparation of Z and W chromosome paints via chromosome microdissection from the Australian marbled gecko (Christinus marmoratus) and their subsequent use in evaluating sex chromosome homology with the ZW chromosomes of the Kwangsi gecko (Gekko hokouensis) from eastern Asia. We show that the ZW sex chromosomes of C. marmoratus and G. hokouensis are not homologous and represent independent origins of female heterogamety within the Gekkonidae. We also show that the C. marmoratus Z and W chromosomes are genetically similar to each other as revealed by C-banding, comparative genomic hybridization, and the reciprocal painting of Z and W chromosome probes. This implies that sex chromosomes in C. marmoratus are at an early stage of differentiation, suggesting a recent origin.


Cytogenetic and Genome Research, Vol. 143, No. 4 (2014): 251-258. DOI.

T. Gamble was affiliated with University of Minnesota at the time of publication.