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Long interspersed nuclear elements (L1 or LINE-1) are the most abundant and active retroposons in the mammalian genome. Traditionally, the bulk of L1 sequences have been explained by the 'selfish DNA' hypothesis; however, recently it has been also argued that L1s could play an important role in genome and gene organizations. The non-random chromosomal(More)
The chromosomal distribution of mobile genetic elements is scarcely known in Arvicolinae species, but could be of relevance to understand the origin and complex evolution of the sex chromosome heterochromatin. In this work we cloned two retrotransposon sequences, L1 and SINE-B1, from the genome of Chionomys nivalis and investigated their chromosomal(More)
The genus Microtus presents several species with extremely large sex chromosomes that contain large blocks of constitutive heterochromatin. Several cytogenetic and molecular studies of the repetitive sequences in species of the genus Microtus have demonstrated that the heterochromatin is highly heterogeneous. We have cloned and characterized a family of(More)
Sex chromosomes in species of the genus Microtus present some characteristic features that make them a very interesting group to study sex chromosome composition and evolution. M. cabrerae and M. agrestis have enlarged sex chromosomes (known as 'giant sex chromosomes') due to the presence of large heterochromatic blocks. By chromosome microdissection, we(More)
We studied the anatomical, histological, and genetic features of the sexual tract in four European mole species of the genus Talpa (Insectivora, mammalia): T. occidentalis, T. europaea, T. romana, and T. stankovici. All XY individuals had a normal male phenotype, whereas all XX individuals in all four species had features that identified them as intersexes.(More)
In most mammals, the Y chromosome is composed of a large amount of constitutive heterochromatin. In some Microtus species, this feature is also extended to the X chromosome, resulting in enlarged (giant) sex chromosomes. Several repeated DNA sequences have been described in the gonosomal heterochromatin of these species, indicating that it has heterogeneous(More)
In mammals, sex determination is controlled by the Y-linked gene SRY. Although SRY is male-specific in most eutherian and marsupial species, with a single copy on the Y chromosome, several rodent species have multiple Y-linked copies of SRY, and two mole-vole species of the genus Ellobius determine sex without the Y chromosome or the SRY gene. We searched(More)
Sex determination in mammals is controlled by SRY (sex-determining region of the Y chromosome), a single-copy gene located on the Y-specific region. Several exceptions to this rule have been described: some rodent species present Y-specific multiple copies (either mono- or polymorphic) of this gene, and two Ellobius species and one Tokudaia species(More)
C-banding techniques detect the presence of constitutive heterochromatin, which is usually located in centromeric regions of chromosomes in the majority of analysed species. The common method for C-banding used over the last 30 years involves treatment with a mild alkali barium hydroxide 5% Ba(OH)2 at 50 degrees C for 5-15 min and subsequent incubation in(More)