Urodele amphibians (newts and salamanders) are important animal models for understanding regeneration mechanisms and genome evolution. We constructed ideograms of BrdU/dT- and C-banded karyotypes in the Japanese fire-belly newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, which is useful as a model animal with extremely high ability of regeneration. We also established a high-resolution FISH mapping system for newts, and localized satellite DNA sequences, 18S rDNAs, telomeric (TTAGGG)n repeats and seven functional genes, including genes associated with lens regeneration, tyrosinase and two types of gamma crystallins, to chromosomes of the newt. The 18S rDNAs were localized to three chromosomal pairs in males, whereas the chromosomal locations were highly variable in females. No hybridization signals were detected for the telomeric (TTAGGG)n sequence. All three lens regeneration-related genes were mapped on the short arm of chromosome 7, suggesting that the location of the genes in the same linkage group may be correlated with the regulation of gene expression associated with chromatin dynamics in interphase nuclei during regeneration. The chromosomal distribution and nucleotide sequences of pericentric satellite DNA sequences were well conserved between C. pyrrhogaster and European newts; in contrast, there was species specificity of nucleotide sequences for centromere-specific satellite DNAs.
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