An extreme case of chromosomal evolution is presented by the two muntjac species Muntiacus muntjac (Indian muntjac, 2n = 6 [females], 7 [males]) and M. reevesi (Chinese muntjac, 2n = 46). Despite disparate karyotypes, these phenotypically similar species produce viable hybrid offspring, indicating a high degree of DNA-level conservation and genetic relatedness. As a first step toward development of a comparative gene map, several Indian muntjac homologs of known human type I anchor loci were mapped. Using flow-sorted, chromosome-specific Southern hybridization techniques, homologs of the protein kinase C β polypeptide (PRKCB1) and the DNA repair genes ERCC2 and XRCC1 have been assigned to Indian muntjac chromosome 2. The male-specific ZFY gene was presumptively mapped to Indian muntjac chromosome Y2. Ultimate generation of a comparative physical map of both Indian and Chinese muntjac chromosomes will prove invaluable in the study of mammalian karyotype evolution.

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