Chromosomal rearrangements occurred repeatedly and independently during species diversification in Malagasy geckos, genus Paroedura
We conducted a phylogenetic study through karyological data, by standard staining and Ag-NOR banding, and molecular analysis (by 12S and 16S mitochondrial rRNA genes and nuclear gene C-mos) on 11 species of Malagasy geckos, genus Paroedura, and two relatives (Ebenavia inunguis and Uroplatus phantasticus). Ebenavia inunguis and U. phantasticus had 2n = 36 telocentric elements, NORs on the first chromosome pair in E. inunguis, and on the third chromosome pair in U. phantasticus. All examined Paroedura showed NORs on the smallest chromosome pair; moreover, six of the eleven examined species show a 2n = 36 karyotype, with a pair of metacentrics and 17 telocentric pair. The remaining species exhibited karyotypes with a diploid chromosome number ranging from 2n = 31 to 2n = 38. We assume that these karyotype assemblages derived from the 2n=36 karyotype by cryptic and/or simple rearrangements, such as inversions, fissions and fusions. Furthermore, molecular and/or chromosomal data indicate that Paroedura is a monophyletic genus, in which chromosome rearrangements occurred repeatedly and independently during the specific diversification. Moreover both P. bastardi and P. gracilis in current definitions are paraphyletic assemblages of several related species, since their population proves more closely related to P. ibityensis or P. oviceps than co-specific populations.
Key words: chromosome, Gekkonidae, Madagascar, Paroedura, molecular phylogeny.