Transcriptionally inactive portions of genomic DNA, condensed with histones and architectural proteins, are known as heterochromatic regions, often positive C band. The advent of epigenetics and new methodological approaches, showed that these regions are extremely dynamic and responsive to different types of environmental stress. The relationship of the constitutive heterochromatin with the transposable elements inactivation, especially from the Rex family, seems to be a frequent condition in fish. In this manuscript we review the existing knowledge of the nature and function of these genomic regions, based on species-based studies, with a focus on species of fish from the Amazon region.
Part of the book: Cytogenetics