Few chromosomal reports are available for the endemic fish fauna from coastal basins in northeastern Brazil, and regional biodiversity remains partially or completely unknown. This is particularly true for Loricariidae, the most diverse family of armored catfishes. In the present work, allopatric populations of Hypostomus cf. wuchereri (Siluriformes: Loricariidae) from two basins in Bahia (northeastern Brazil) were cytogenetically analyzed. Both populations shared 2n = 76 chromosomes, a karyotype formula of 10m+18sm+48st/a (FN = 104) and single terminal GC-rich NORs on the second metacentric pair. Nevertheless, microstructural differences were detected by C-banding, fluorochrome staining and chromosomal digestion with restriction enzymes (Alu I, Bam HI, Hae III, and Dde I). The population from Una River (Recôncavo Sul basin) showed conspicuous heterochromatin blocks and a remarkable heterogeneity of base composition (presence of interspersed AT/GC-rich and exclusively AT- or GC-rich sites), while the population from Mutum river (Contas River basin) presented interstitial AT-rich C-bands and terminal GC/AT-rich heterochromatin. Each enzyme yielded a specific band profile per population which allowed us characterizing up to five heterochromatin families in each population. Based on the present data, we infer that these populations have been evolving independently, as favored by their geographic isolation, probably representing cryptic species.
Biodiversity; Cytogenetics; Heterochromatin; Hypostominii