ZOO-FISH Analysis in a Species of the Order Chiroptera: Glossophaga soricina (Phyllostomidae)
Flow-cytometric analyses of 29 species of microchiropteran bats representing four families and 20 genera revealed that bats possess only 79% (5.43 pg) of the DNA content of a "typical" mammal (e.g., Mus musculus strain C57BL; 7 pg). Chiroptera, the second largest order of mammals, is thus an exception to the prevailing view that mammals possess a minimum nuclear DNA content of 7 pg. Limitations on cell size resulting from a high metabolic rate may have constrained evolution of DNA content and could explain why the extensive heterochromatic additions that are common in some groups of mammals are absent in bats. Chromosomes of bats have been well studied; detailed chromosomal banding data are available for nearly all the species used in this investigation. However, no significant correlations were found between DNA content and karyotypic characteristics such as 2n, fundamental number, and rate or pattern of chromosomal evolution.