Department of Karyotaxonomy

Department of Karyotaxonomy formally belongs to the Laboratory of Insect Taxonomy, therefore insects are the major subject of its studies. However, other animals, such as hydras, flatworms, and molluscs are likewise under study. Insects studied are earwigs, dragonflies, zorapterans, psocids, sucking lice and chewing lice, plant lice, coccids, psyllids, whiteflies, cicades and bugs, butterflies, beetles, blackflies, mosquitoes, and sawflies. The staff of the Department includes four researchers. Many undergraduate and post-graduate students usually work at the Department.

In studies of karyotypes, a variety of modern chromosome staining techniques are used. Among these are C-banding to reveal chromosomal sites of constitutive heterochromatin (highly repetitive DNA’s), and AgNO3 staining to reveal the nucleolar organizer regions (NORs). Some techniques of molecular cytogenetics whereby specific DNA sequences are localized in particular chromosomes and chromosome parts (fluorescent chromosome banding with AT-specific DAPI and GC-specific CMA3), and the fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) using rDNA-gene specific probes are also used.

For revealing the additional taxonomic markers, some characters of meiosis, gametogenesis and structure of the insect internal organs are analyzed in parallel with karyotypes. The data obtained are used for testing evolution, taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of the taxa.


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