Reliable banding techniques are a major necessity for the genetic research in marine bivalves. Restriction enzyme banding (HaeIII) was performed, in this study, on chromosomes of two commercially important species of veneroid bivalves: the clam Ruditapes decussatus (Adams and Reeve) and the cockle Cerastoderma edule. Identification of the nineteen individual chromosome pairs was obtained for both species. The cytogenetic studies made in marine molluscs have recently experienced a very fast development caused by the introduction of new molecular techniques mainly fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Recently it has been shown in mammalian chromosomes that restriction enzyme banding is compatible with FISH, allowing simultaneous banding, and consequent accurate identification of the localization of the probes and unambiguously identification of the chromosome(s) carrier(s). As far as we know this is the first RE-banding obtained in karyotypes of veneroid species. The application of restriction enzyme chromosome banding in veneroids are diverse and this study can constitute a fundamental step for future gene mapping on this commercially important group of bivalves and could offer a new approach to specific problems in veneroid taxonomy and genetics.
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Vol. 25 • No. 3