Molecular cloning and characterization of satellite DNA sequences from constitutive heterochromatin of the habu snake (Protobothrops flavoviridis, Viperidae) and the Burmese python (Python bivittatus, Pythonidae).

PMID 26205503


Highly repetitive DNA sequences of the centromeric heterochromatin provide valuable molecular cytogenetic markers for the investigation of genomic compartmentalization in the macrochromosomes and microchromosomes of sauropsids. Here, the relationship between centromeric heterochromatin and karyotype evolution was examined using cloned repetitive DNA sequences from two snake species, the habu snake (Protobothrops flavoviridis, Crotalinae, Viperidae) and Burmese python (Python bivittatus, Pythonidae). Three satellite DNA (stDNA) families were isolated from the heterochromatin of these snakes: 168-bp PFL-MspI from P. flavoviridis and 196-bp PBI-DdeI and 174-bp PBI-MspI from P. bivittatus. The PFL-MspI and PBI-DdeI sequences were localized to the centromeric regions of most chromosomes in the respective species, suggesting that the two sequences were the major components of the centromeric heterochromatin in these organisms. The PBI-MspI sequence was localized to the pericentromeric region of four chromosome pairs. The PFL-MspI and the PBI-DdeI sequences were conserved only in the genome of closely related species, Gloydius blomhoffii (Crotalinae) and Python molurus, respectively, although their locations on the chromosomes were slightly different. In contrast, the PBI-MspI sequence was also in the genomes of P. molurus and Boa constrictor (Boidae), and additionally localized to the centromeric regions of eight chromosome pairs in B. constrictor, suggesting that this sequence originated in the genome of a common ancestor of Pythonidae and Boidae, approximately 86 million years ago. The three stDNA sequences showed no genomic compartmentalization between the macrochromosomes and microchromosomes, suggesting that homogenization of the centromeric and/or pericentromeric stDNA sequences occurred in the macrochromosomes and microchromosomes of these snakes.