The saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) is a newly discovered large mammal species, belongs to the subfamily Bovinae and is listed as being endangered. Due to the limitation of the material available, no cytogenetic studies have been carried out on this species. In the present study, preliminary cytogenetic analysis was undertaken on cultured female fibroblast cells to characterize the karyotype organization of saola. An examination of 120 Giemsa stained metaphases showed the diploid chromosome number of 2n = 50, including five bi-armed chromosome pairs. The distribution of constitutive heterochromatin in saola was studied. However, the variability in the size of C-bands was not significant on all the homologous chromosomes. The X chromosome pair, corresponding to the largest telocentric chromosomes, was identified by fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) using a bacterial artificial chromosome clone (BAC 0577G05, which maps to BTAXq25→q33). In comparison to the standard karyotype of cattle (ISCNDB 2000), a G-banded ideogram of saola (about 390 band level) was presented. This work, therefore, provided a basic insight into the karyotype organization of this endangered species and will be particularly useful to improve the understanding of differences of genomes between related species.   

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