Neacomys (Sigmodontinae) comprises 8 species mainly found in the Amazonian region. We describe 5 new karyotypes from Brazilian Amazonia: 2 cytotypes for N. paracou (2n = 56/FNa = 62-66), 1 for N. dubosti (2n = 64/FNa = 68), and 2 for Neacomys sp. (2n = 58/FNa = 64-70), with differences in the 18S rDNA. Telomeric probes did not show ITS. We provide a phylogeny using Cyt b, and the analysis suggests that 2n = 56 with a high FNa is ancestral for the genus, as found in N. paracou, being retained by the ancestral forms of the other species, with an increase in 2n occurring independently in N. spinosus and N. dubosti. Alternatively, an increase in 2n may have occurred in the ancestral taxon of the other species, followed by independent 2n-reduction events in Neacomys sp. and in the ancestral species of N. tenuipes, N. guianae, N. musseri, and N. minutus. Finally, a drastic reduction event in the diploid number occurred in the ancestral species of N. musseri and N. minutus which exhibit the lowest 2n of the genus. The karyotypic variations found in both intra- and interspecific samples, associated with the molecular phylogeny, suggest a chromosomal evolution with amplification/deletion of constitutive heterochromatin and rearrangements including fusions, fissions, and pericentric inversions.

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