Anna Grzesiakowska, Przemysław Baran, Marta Kuchta-Gładysz and Olga Szeleszczuk
Comparative analysis of the karyotype structure was made in two hedgehog species: the northern white-breasted hedgehog (Erinaceus roumanicus) and the African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris).
Material and Methods
The cytogenetic analysis used differential staining techniques (DAPI, Ag-NOR, and C-banding/DAPI) and sequential QFQ/FISH banding with NOR20 and TEL20 probes which showed 45S rDNA and (TTAGGG)n repeat sequences, respectively, on hedgehog chromosomes.
It was confirmed that the somatic cells of the hedgehogs have a constant number of chromosomes (2n = 48,XY). Differences were observed in the NOR number between the species. NORs were identified on three autosome pairs in the northern white-breasted hedgehog and on only two pairs in the African pygmy hedgehog. Chromosome analysis by C-banding/DAPI showed large segments of heterochromatin rich in A-T pairs on three autosome pairs in both the northern white-breasted and African pygmy hedgehogs. The heterochromatin segments encompassed large fragments of the longer arm of chromosome pairs 13, 14 and 20. The (TTAGGG)n repeat sequences on the hedgehog chromosomes were only observed in the terminal position of all the chromosomes in both species.
Our observations provide new information on the level of diversity within the Erinaceidae family.