Przewalski’s wild horse (E. przewalskii, EPR) has a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 66 while the domestic horse (E. caballus, ECA) has a diploid chromosome number of 2n = 64. Discussions about their phylogenetic relationship and taxonomic classification have hinged on comparisons of their skeletal morphology, protein and mitochondrial DNA similarities, their ability to produce fertile hybrid offspring, and on comparison of their chromosome morphology and banding patterns. Previous studies of GTG-banded karyotypes suggested that the chromosomes of both equids were homologous and the difference in chromosome number was due to a Robertsonian event involving two pairs of acrocentric chromosomes in EPR and one pair of metacentric chromosomes in ECA (ECA5). To determine which EPR chromosomes were homologous to ECA5 and to confirm the predicted chromosome homologies based on GTG banding, we constructed a comparative gene map between ECA and EPR by FISH mapping 46 domestic horse-derived BAC clones containing genes previously mapped to ECA chromosomes. The results indicated that all ECA and EPR chromosomes were homologous as predicted by GTG banding, but provide new information in that the EPR acrocentric chromosomes EPR23 and EPR24 were shown to be homologues of the ECA metacentric chromosome ECA5.
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