Dynamics of a Novel Chromosomal Polymorphism within a Hybrid Zone Between Two Chromosome Races of the Sceloporus grammicus Complex (Sauria, Phrynosomatidae) Academic Article uri icon


  • Several chromosome races of the mesquite lizard, Sceloporus grammicus complex, hybridize at localities in central Mexico. In most cases, the hybridizing populations are delineated by centric fissions at one or more of the macrochromosomes. One notable exception is the Tulancingo hybrid zone between the F5 and FM2 cytotypes. In addition to fission and/or inversion differences at chromosomes 1, 3, 4, and 6, these races differ by a complex rearrangement of chromosome 2, which carries the nucleolus-organizer region in this species. The meiotic consequences of heterozygosity at this chromosome were examined in males to assess the potential for this chromosome to contribute to the dynamics of the hybrid zone. Chromosomal analysis revealed several putative F1 hybrids and confirmed the production of nonparental chromosomal morphologies through recombination. Pachytene analysis revealed meiotic pairing difficulties associated with chromosome 2 in males heterozygous for the parental chromosomal morphologies. Significant aneuploidy is expected because of random disjunction of the chromosome-2 elements. As a result, these males likely suffer reduced fertiliity and fitness. In contrast, males heterozygous for recombinant chromosomal morphologies displayed low levels of meiotic irregularities and presumably exhibit higher fertility than individuals heterozygous for parental morphologies. It is hypothesized that the recombinant phenotypes facilitate gene flow between the F5 and FM2 cytotypes.

author list (cited authors)

  • Reed, K. M., Greenbaum, I. F., & Sites, J. W.

citation count

  • 14

publication date

  • February 1995