Evaluation of interspecific DNA content variations and sex identification in Falconiformes and Strigiformes by flow cytometric analysis

R. De Vita, D. Cavallo, P. Eleuteri, G. Dell'Omo

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A high interspecific karyotype variability has been evidenced in birds especially in Falconiformes and Strigiformes. Avian cytogenetic analysis, conventionally used for this study, presents several difficulties. We used flow cytometric analysis in order to obtain further information on the DNA patterns of different species of birds belonging to the above‐mentioned orders. Our study was performed on blood samples while chicken erythrocytes and human lymphocytes, with known cytometric DNA content, were used as reference cells. The blood samples of the birds under study were stained, simultaneously to the reference cell, with a lysis‐staining buffer containing propidium iodide. The nuclear DNA content of the bird samples was calculated as DNA index in relation to reference cells, and was expressed as nuclear DNA mass in picograms (pg) with respect to the standard value of 7.0 pg per human lymphocyte nucleus. The results obtained showed an interspecific variability of DNA content and evidenced the usefulness of FCM analysis as a rapid and easy tool for studying the DNA pattern of different species of birds. Moreover, our results have confirmed and extended the possibility of sex identification in species of birds characterized by sexual monomorphism by evaluating the small DNA content difference which exists between males and females. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc. Copyright © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346 - 350
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Hematology
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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