The free-living flatworm Macrostomum lignano is a model organism for evolutionary and developmental biology studies. Recently, an unusual karyotypic diversity was revealed in this species. Specifically, worms are either 'normal' 2n = 8, or they are aneuploid with one or two additional large chromosome(s) (i.e. 2n = 9 or 2n = 10, respectively). Aneuploid worms did not show visible behavioral or morphological abnormalities and were successful in reproduction. In this study, we generated microdissected DNA probes from chromosome 1 (further called MLI1), chromosome 2 (MLI2), and a pair of similar-sized smaller chromosomes (MLI3, MLI4). FISH using these probes revealed that MLI1 consists of contiguous regions homologous to MLI2-MLI4, suggesting that MLI1 arose due to the whole genome duplication and subsequent fusion of one full chromosome set into one large metacentric chromosome. Therefore, one presumably full haploid genome was packed into MLI1, leading to hidden tetraploidy in the M. lignano genome. The study of Macrostomum sp. 8 - a sibling species of M. lignano - revealed that it usually has one additional pair of large chromosomes (2n = 10) showing a high homology to MLI1, thus suggesting hidden hexaploidy in its genome. Possible evolutionary scenarios for the emergence of the M. lignano and Macrostomum sp. 8 genomes are discussed.
- Cestode Infections/parasitology
- Evolution, Molecular
- In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
- WHOLE-GENOME DUPLICATION
- COMMON CARP
- SIMULTANEOUS HERMAPHRODITE