Avian Chromosomal Evolution



An outstanding feature of avian karyotypes is an extraordinary degree of apparent similarity from one species to the next, with the majority of avian species exhibiting 2n = 74–86. Several exceptions to this rule include avian clades that have a large degree of chromosomal fusion and fission. In this chapter we describe patterns of avian chromosomal evolution, including likely associations between karyotype evolution and phenotype. We also describe novel approaches that will facilitate avian chromosome studies at molecular level to unravel the mystery of the significance of this very distinctive genomic structure.


Avian karyotype Chromosome evolution Sex chromosomes Universal probes Macrochromosomes Microchromosomes Evolutionary breakpoint regions Rearrangements Genomes Chicken 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Royal Veterinary CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.School of BiosciencesUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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