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Integrating cytogenetics and genomics in the study of sex chromosome differentiation pathways. Part I

Grant number: 23/00955-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: February 01, 2024 - January 31, 2026
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Animal Genetics
Principal Investigator:Marcelo de Bello Cioffi
Grantee:Marcelo de Bello Cioffi
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Alexandr Sember ; Edivaldo Herculano Correa de Oliveira ; Fábio Porto-Foresti ; Orlando Moreira Filho ; Petr Ráb ; Rafael Kretschmer ; Ricardo Utsunomia ; Tariq Ezaz ; Thomas Liehr
Associated scholarship(s):24/00722-0 - Plan of activities for the TT4 Scholarship with the Fish Cytogenetics Laboratory, BP.TT


The present project aims to integrate cytogenetic and genomic approaches to elucidate the mechanisms of origin and differentiation of sex chromosomes and verify whether their differentiation pathways occurred following the canonical model of evolution. To do this, we will analyze nascent and differentiated BZZ@/ZW ; nascent BXX@/XY, @X1X1X2X2/BX1X2Y and @XX/BXY1Y2 systems, present in different species of vertebrates, including the traíra Hoplias malabaricus and catfishes of the genus Harttia (fishes); snakes from the Colubridae family (reptiles), the emu Dromaius novaehollandiae and the Tataupa tinamou Crypturellus tataupa (birds). The investigation of simple and multiple sex chromosome systems, in nascent and well-differentiated stages, present in these model groups that have different characteristics regarding the amount of repetitive sequences present in their genomes and the phylogenetic position they occupy, represent an excellent scenario for this hypothesis to be tested. The methodological approaches of this proposal involve i) the prospecting and characterization of the entire library of Satellite DNAs (Satelitome) of these species; ii) Comparative analysis of the chromosomal distribution of repetitive sequences between males and females to identify which were mostly involved with the differentiation of the sex-specific chromosome (Y, W, or neo-Y); iii) Analysis of the sharing and evolution of satellite DNAs present in the sex chromosomes of the sister species of each selected model group and iv) use of chromosome painting experiments (WCP) and comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to investigate the common or independent origin of their sex chromosomes. This proposal relies on an already well-established network involving several Brazilian and international research groups who are equally interested in the topic to be investigated, enabling its execution and obtaining promising results for cytogenetics and evolutionary genetics. (AU)

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