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The GTG-banded karyotype and telomere fish in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus)

SUWATTANA D, KOYKUL W, MAHASAWANGKUL S, KANCHANAPANGKA S, JOERG H, STRANZINGER G
Veterinarni Medicina 45, 2000, 285-289

Lymphocyte cultures were performed for chromosome preparations from 70 Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) held captive in the province of Lampang, Thailand. The elephant karyotype was demonstrated using Giemsa staining and GTG banding techniques. The diploid number (2n) was 56 or 28 chromosome pairs, consisting of 6 pairs of bi-armed chromosomes and the rest of 21 chromosome pairs were telocentric. The chromosomes were classified and numbered according to size, centromere position and banding patterns. Chromosome one exhibited a secondary constriction on the proximal third of the p-arm whereas chromosomes 2 to 6 showed faint bands probably due to their heterochromatic constitution. The X chromosome was medium submetacentric with distinctive bands while the Y was a small telocentric chromosome with a dark band around the centromere. An idiogram of total 216 bands was established according to the GTG-bands which will be useful for physical gene mapping. Telomeres of Asian elephants' chromosomes were localized using a fluorescein-conjugated peptide nucleic acid (PNA) probe containing a telomeric sequence (TTAGGG). Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) revealed the locations of four spots of telomeres on all including the sex chromosomes. Our observations demonstrated that telomeric DNA sequences have been well conserved in the Asian elephants similar to those shown in almost all vertebrates


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