Revisiting the Karyotype Evolution of Neotropical Boid Snakes: A Puzzle Mediated by Chromosomal Fissions

Patrik F. Viana, Tariq Ezaz, Marcelo de Bello Cioffi, Thomas Liehr, Ahmed Al-Rikabi, Rodrigo Tavares-Pinheiro, Luiz Antônio Carlos Bertollo, Eliana Feldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


The Boidae family is an ancient group of snakes widely distributed across the Neotropical region, where several biogeographic events contributed towards shaping their evolution and diversification. Most species of this family have a diploid number composed of 2n = 36; however, among Booidea families, the Boidae stands out by presenting the greatest chromosomal diversity, with 2n ranging between 36 and 44 chromosomes and an undifferentiated XY sex chromosome system. Here, we applied a comparative chromosome analysis using cross-species chromosome paintings in five species representing four Boidae genera, to decipher the evolutionary dynamics of some chromosomes in these Neotropical snakes. Our study included all diploid numbers (2n = 36, 40, and 44) known for this family and our comparative chromosomal mappings point to a strong evolutionary relationship among the genera Boa, Corallus, Eunectes, and Epicrates. The results also allowed us to propose the cytogenomic diversification that had occurred in this family: a process mediated by centric fissions, including fission events of the putative and undifferentiated XY sex chromosome system in the 2n = 44 karyotype, which is critical in solving the puzzle of the karyotype evolution of boid snakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2271
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2020


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