Chromosome painting does not support a sex chromosome turnover in lacerta agilis linnaeus, 1758

Artem P. Lisachov, Massimo Giovannotti, Jorge C. Pereira, Daria A. Andreyushkova, Svetlana A. Romanenko, Malcolm A. Ferguson-Smith, Pavel M. Borodin, Vladimir A. Trifonov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Reptiles show a remarkable diversity of sex determination mechanisms and sex chromosome systems, derived from different autosomal pairs. The origin of the ZW sex chromosomes of Lacerta agilis, a widespread Eurasian lizard species, is a matter of discussion: Is it a small macrochromosome from the 11-18 group common to all lacertids, or does this species have a unique ZW pair derived from the large chromosome 5? Using independent molecular cytogenetic methods, we investigated the karyotype of L. agilis exigua from Siberia, Russia, to identify the sex chromosomes. FISH with a flow-sorted chromosome painting probe derived from L. strigata and specific to chromosomes 13, 14, and Z confirmed that the Z chromosome of L. agilis is a small macrochromosome, the same as in L. strigata. FISH with the telomeric probe showed an extensive accumulation of the telomere-like repeat in the W chromosome in agreement with previous studies, excluding the possibility that the lineages of L. agilis studied in different works could have different sex chromosome systems due to a putative intra-species polymorphism. Our results reinforce the idea of the stability of the sex chromosomes and lack of evidence for sex-chromosome turnovers in known species of Lacertidae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalCytogenetic and Genome Research
Issue number3
Early online date25 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Lacertidae
  • Reptilia
  • Sex chromosomes
  • Sex determination
  • Zoo-fish
  • Zoo-FISH

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