Evolution of sex chromosomes ZW of Schistosoma mansoni inferred from chromosome paint and BAC mapping analyses

Hirohisa Hirai, Yuriko Hirai, Philip T. LoVerde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Chromosomes of schistosome parasites among digenetic flukes have a unique evolution because they exhibit the sex chromosomes ZW, which are not found in the other groups of flukes that are hermaphrodites. We conducted molecular cytogenetic analyses for investigating the sex chromosome evolution using chromosome paint analysis and BAC clones mapping. To carry this out, we developed a technique for making paint probes of genomic DNA from a single scraped chromosome segment using a chromosome microdissection system, and a FISH mapping technique for BAC clones. Paint probes clearly identified each of the 8 pairs of chromosomes by a different fluorochrome color. Combination analysis of chromosome paint analysis with Z/W probes and chromosome mapping with 93 BAC clones revealed that the W chromosome of Schistosoma mansoni has evolved by at least four inversion events and heterochromatinization. Nine of 93 BAC clones hybridized with both the Z and W chromosomes, but the locations were different between Z and W chromosomes. The homologous regions were estimated to have moved from the original Z chromosome to the differentiated W chromosome by three inversions events that occurred before W heterohcromatinization. An inversion that was observed in the heterochromatic region of the W chromosome likely occurred after W heterochromatinization. These inversions and heterochromatinization are hypothesized to be the key factors that promoted the evolution of the W chromosome of S. mansoni.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)684-689
Number of pages6
JournalParasitology International
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • BAC mapping
  • Chromosome paint
  • FISH
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Sex chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


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