Chaetophractus villosus as a sentinel organism: Baseline values of mitotic index, chromosome aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges.
Karyotype and cytotype variations for the large hairy armadillo (Chaetophractus villosus) were studied throughout the species' Argentine distribution. Peripheral blood lymphocyte cultures of 421 animals were used to obtain mitotic metaphases. Preparations were subjected to conventional staining, G- and C-banding, and FISH involving a telomeric probe. Meiotic analysis was performed on testis material from 10 adults. Spermatocytes were examined for synaptonemal complexes in microspreads. The karyotype (2n = 60 XX/XY; FN = 84 without XY) showed an autosomal complement of 6 metacentric and 7 submetacentric chromosomes; the remainder was acrocentric. The X chromosome was submetacentric and the Y acrocentric. Centromeric C+ marks were observed in all chromosomes except pair 16. Three NOR signals were detected in 6q, 12p, and 26p. Two chromosomal rearrangements were characterized in chromosome pair 1 a pericentric inversion seen in the material from Jacinto Aráuz, General Madariaga and Pellegrini and a deletion in the material from Loma Verde. Interstitial telomeric signals were observed in chromosome pairs 4, 12, 16, and 26. Pachytene spermatocyte analysis confirmed the basic chromosome number and morphologies observed in mitotic karyotypes. The evolution of C. villosus involved chromosomal rearrangements as recorded for other species of its superorder. The present results establish the basis for the cytogenetic characterization of this species.