Comparative Cytogenetics of the Congo African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus). Academic Article uri icon


  • The Congo African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus, PER) is an endemic species of Central Africa, valued for its intelligence and listed as vulnerable due to poaching and habitat destruction. Improved knowledge about the P. erithacus genome is needed to address key biological questions and conservation of this species. The P. erithacus genome was studied using conventional and molecular cytogenetic approaches including Zoo-FISH. P. erithacus has a 'typical' parrot karyotype with 2n = 62-64 and 8 pairs of macrochromosomes. A distinct feature was a sharp macro-microchromosome boundary. Telomeric sequences were present at all chromosome ends and interstitially in PER2q, the latter coinciding with a C-band. NORs mapped to 4 pairs of microchromosomes which is in contrast to a single NOR in ancestral type avian karyotypes. Zoo-FISH with chicken macrochromosomes GGA1-9 and Z revealed patterns of conserved synteny similar to many other avian groups, though neighboring synteny combinations of GGA6/7, 8/9, and 1/4 were distinctive only to parrots. Overall, P. erithacus shared more Zoo-FISH patterns with neotropical macaws than Australian species such as cockatiel and budgerigar. The observations suggest that Psittaciformes karyotypes have undergone more extensive evolutionary rearrangements compared to the majority of other avian genomes.

published proceedings

  • Cytogenet Genome Res

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Seibold-Torres, C., Owens, E., Chowdhary, R., Ferguson-Smith, M. A., Tizard, I., & Raudsepp, T.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Seibold-Torres, Cassandra||Owens, Elaine||Chowdhary, Renuka||Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A||Tizard, Ian||Raudsepp, Terje

publication date

  • March 2015