Supplementary Material for: Homomorphic Sex Chromosomes and the Intriguing Y Chromosome of Ctenomys Rodent Species (Rodentia, Ctenomyidae)

<p>Unlike the X chromosome, the mammalian Y chromosome undergoes evolutionary decay resulting in small size. This sex chromosomal heteromorphism, observed in most species of the fossorial rodent <i>Ctenomys</i>, contrasts with the medium-sized, homomorphic acrocentric sex chromosomes of closely related <i>C. maulinus </i>and <i>C. </i>sp. To characterize the sequence composition of these chromosomes, fluorescent banding, self-genomic in situ hybridization, and fluorescent in situ hybridization with an X painting probe were performed on mitotic and meiotic plates. High molecular homology between the sex chromosomes was detected on mitotic material as well as on meiotic plates immunodetected with anti-SYCP3 and anti-γH2AX. The Y chromosome is euchromatic, poor in repetitive sequences and differs from the X by the loss of a block of pericentromeric chromatin. Inferred from the G-banding pattern, an inversion and the concomitant prevention of recombination in a large asynaptic region seems to be crucial for meiotic X chromosome inactivation. These peculiar findings together with the homomorphism of <i>Ctenomys</i> sex chromosomes are discussed in the light of the regular purge that counteracts Muller's ratchet and the probable mechanisms accounting for their origin and molecular homology.</p>