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MESQUITA, Débora R.; PORTO, Jorge I. R. and FELDBERG, Eliana. Chromosomal variability in the wild ornamental species of Symphysodon (Perciformes: Cichlidae) from Amazon. Neotrop. ichthyol. [online]. 2008, vol.6, n.2, pp. 181-190. ISSN 1679-6225. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252008000200005.
Cytogenetic studies were conducted on three discus species which inhabit the Amazon in Brazil: Symphysodon haraldi from Manacapuru, S. aequifasciatus from Tefé and S. discus from Barcelos. All individuals showed 2n=60 chromosomes, most of them biarmed. No sexual chromosomal heteromorphism was verified. However, different karyotypic formulae, owing to the presence of subtelocentric chromosomes, were verified for S. aequifasciatus and S. discus. One of the karyotypic formulae from S. aequifasciatus (cytotype 2) differs from the others, due to one of the homologues in the first chromosome pair being significantly larger than the other. A large variability was observed toward the nucleolar organizer regions (NOR) of S. haraldi and S. aequifasciatus. Although the number of silver-stained blocks varied from 2 to 5, confirming different NOR patterns, at least seven homologue pairs were involved with NORs. In S. discus only two marks were observed, however two chromosome pairs were involved, characterizing a multiple NOR system for the three species. The heterochromatic blocks were mainly located in the pericentromeric region of all chromosomes but, in some of them, they are also located in the proximal regions, both in the short and long arms. Moreover, in the cytotype 2 from S. aequifasciatus, an interstitial heterochromatic block was observed on the long arm of the largest homologue of the first pair. A direct comparison of karyotypes from more related genera (Heros, Uaru, Mesonauta and Pterophyllum), makes it clear that a succession of chromosomal rearrangements, mainly pericentric inversions, translocations and fissions/fusions occurred resulting in the present diploid number and intraspecific karyological variability found in Symphysodon.
Keywords : Discus; Cytogenetics; Polymorphism; Microchromosomes; Multiple NORs.