Dr. Bernard Dutrillaux

By chromosome banding, it was possible to show that the components (chromosomes or large chromosome fragments) of the karyotypes of most Primates are fairly conserved, from Lemurs (Prosimians) to Hominidae. This could be extended to other mammals such as Carnivora, Lagomorpha and some Rodents, which allowed us to reconstruct ancestral karyotypes. These reconstructions were largely confirmed by molecular cytogenetics.

Fortunately, most rearrangements, such as inversions, separating the karyotypes are intra-chromosomal, which allowed us to follow any chromosome from species to species. Taken independently, chromosomes underwent series of changes compatible with a dichotomic evolution, but this becomes totally incompatible when they are considered together. Only a network or reticulated evolution is compatible with chromosome data, a position that we have been defending for the last 40 years.