The mammalian family Tayassuidae (peccaries) is confined to the New World and comprises three recognized extant species, white-lipped (Tayassu pecari), collared (Pecari tajacu) and chacoan (Catagonus wagneri) peccaries, which exhibit distinct morphological and chromosomal features. The phylogenetic relationships among the tayassuids are unclear and have instigated debate over the palaeontological, cytogenetic and molecular aspects. Constitutive heterochromatin analysis can be used in understanding the phylogenetic relationships between related species. Here we describe, for the first time, the constitutive heterochromatin (C-positive heterochromatin) of two tayassuid species, Tayassu pecari and Pecari tajacu. We demonstrate that in situ restriction endonuclease digestion with sequential C-banding could be a complementary tool in the study of constitutive heterochromatin heterogeneity in chromosomes of the Tayassuidae. Our characterization of peccary chromosomes suggests that the Pecari tajacu autosomal karyotype is more primitive and has accumulated great diversity in its constitutive heterochromatin. This idea is supported by several other studies that analysed nuclear and mitochondrial sequences of the living peccary species. Finally, the tayassuid X chromosome primitive form seems to be the one of Tayassu pecari.
Volume 101, 2022
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