Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

The chromosomes of ten species in the avian order Charadriiformes Public Deposited

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  • Chromosome complements of ten species of shorebirds, order Charadriiformes, were analyzed and compared. Mitotic chromosomes from the pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba), Heermann's gull (Larus heermanni), the California gull (L. californicus), the western gull (L. occidentalis), the American avocet (Recurvirostra americana), the western willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus), Wilson's snipe (Capella gallinago), the wandering tattler (Heteroscelus incanum), and the black oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) were examined in this study. Short term cultures of bone marrow cells from each of these species provided a source of rapidly dividing cells. Mitosis was arrested with colchicine and the cells exposed to a hypotonic environment prior to fixation in Carnoy's acetic-alcohol without chloroform. Fixed cells were resuspended in a 45% aqueous solution of acetic acid, air dried onto warmed cover slips and stained with lactic-acetic-orcein. In addition to these mitotic chromosomes, meiotic chromosomes of the black tern (Chlidonias niger) were fixed, air dried, stained and examined. Study of the slides of mitotic chromosomes revealed a marked similarity of karyotype in six of the ten species. These six were the oystercatcher, avocet, the three species of gulls and the pigeon guillemot. Study of the meiotic chromosomes of the black tern showed that it also had a chromosome complement similar to these six species. Three species, the western willet, Wilson's snipe and the wandering tattler, all members of the family Scolopacidae, were found to possess karyotypes quite different from the other members of the order. These last three species had diploid numbers between 90 and 100 and karyotypes which included many acrocentric elements but few metacentrics. This is in contrast to the other seven species which all had diploid numbers near 70 and karyotypes containing many nonacrocentric macrochromosomes. Finally, chromosomes of the domestic chicken (Gallus domesticus), a member of the closely related order Galliformes, were compared to the shorebird species. This comparison lead to the conclusion that the seven species, with diploid numbers near 70 and many non-acrocentric macrochromosomes, are evolutionarily descended along a common shorebird line and have many karyotypic characteristics in common with members of the closely related order Galliformes. Because of the markedly different karyotypes of the three members of the family Scolopacidae (snipe, willet and tattler) the suggestion is made that this family may have evolved from a different phylogenetic line than the other members of the order Charadriiformes.
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