Chromosomes of American Marsupials

Science  18 Jun 1965:
Vol. 148, Issue 3677, pp. 1602-1603
DOI: 10.1126/science.148.3677.1602


Studies of the chromosomes of four American marsupials demonstrated that Caluromys derbianus and Marmosa mexicana have a diploid number of 14 chromosomes, and that Philander opossum and Didelphis marsupialis have a diploid number of 22. The karyotypes of C. derbianus and M. mexicana are similar, whereas those of P. opossum and D. marsupialis are dissimilar. If the 14-chromosome karyotype represents a reduction from a primitive number of 22, these observations suggest that the change has occurred independently in the American and Australasian forms.