Arachnids are a highly diverse arthropod lineage. Despite this, the evolution of their karyotypes is not satisfactorily understood including sex chromosomes, which belong to the fundamental themes of evolutionary genetics. These structures are involved in processes such as sex determination, sexual conflict, or speciation. Spiders represent an interesting arachnid system for studying sex chromosome evolution because of the peculiar multiple X chromosomes in their karyotypes. Our results revealed a high complexity of spider sex chromosomes. Besides multiple X chromosomes, spider genomes contain one or two homomorphic sex chromosome pairs. To elucidate origin of this complex sex chromosome determination, data on sex chromosomes of early-diverging spiders and the other orders of tetrapulmonate arachnids (Amblypygi, Thelyphonida, Schizomida) are necessary. These lineages remain, however, largely or even completely untested. To trace their sex chromosome evolution, sex chromosomes of selected representatives will be detected and analysed by selected methods including standard (karyotyping, banding techniques) and molecular cytogenetics (techniques of fluorescent in situ hybridization). Sex chromosome differentiation will be studied by banding techniques and comparative genomic hybridization. Obtained information will be used to reconstruct sex chromosome evolution of tetrapulmonate arachnids. Furthermore, it will be used in studies on evolution of arachnid sex chromosome-linked genes.


Five relevant publications of the research group:


1) Reyes Lerma A.C., Šťáhlavský F., Seiter M., Carabajal Paladino L.Z., Divišová K., Forman M., Sember A., Král J. (2021): Insights into the karyotype evolution of Charinidae, the early-diverging clade of whip spiders (Arachnida: Amblypygi). Animals 11: 3233.

2) Ávila Herrera I.M., Král J., Pastuchová M., Forman M., Musilová J., Kořínková T., Šťáhlavský F., Zrzavá M., Nguyen P., Just P., Haddad C.R., Hiřman M., Koubová M., Sadílek D., Huber B.A. (2021): Evolutionary pattern of karyotypes and meiosis in pholcid spiders (Araneae: Pholcidae): implications for reconstructing chromosome evolution of araneomorph spiders. BMC Ecol Evol. 21 (1): 75.

3) Sember A., Pappová M., Forman N., Nguyen P., Marec F., Dalíková M., Divišová K., Doležálková-Kaštánková M., Zrzavá M., Sadílek D., Hrubá B., Král J. (2020): Patterns of sex chromosome differentiation in spiders: Insights from comparative genomic hybridisation. Genes 11 (8): 849.

4) Král J., Forman M., Kořínková T., Reyes Lerma A.C., Haddad C.R., Musilová J., Řezáč M., Ávila Herrera I.M., Thakur S., Dippenaar-Schoeman A.S., Marec F., Horová L., Bureš P. (2019): Insights into the karyotype and genome evolution of haplogyne spiders indicate a polyploid origin of lineage with holokinetic chromosomes. Sci. Rep. 9 (1): 3001

5) Kořínková T., Král J. (2013): Karyotypes, sex chromosomes, and meiotic division in spiders. In: Nentwig W. (ed): Spider Ecophysiology, Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg, pp. 159-171.

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