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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Full Paper

Year: 2005

Authors: Melo-Ferreira, J; Boursot, P; Suchentrunk, F; Ferrand, N; Alves, PC

Title: Invasion from the cold past: extensive introgression of mountain hare (Lepus timidus) mitochondrial DNA into three other hare species in northern Iberia.

Source: Mol Ecol. 2005; 14(8):2459-2464

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Suchentrunk Franz

Vetmed Research Units
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology

Mitochondrial DNA introgression from Lepus timidus into Lepus granatensis and Lepus europaeus was recently reported in Iberia, although L. timidus presumably retreated from this region at the end of the last ice age. Here we assess the extent of this ancient mtDNA introgression by RFLP analysis of 695 specimens representing the three hare species present in Iberia. The introgressed L. timidus lineage was found in 23 of the 37 populations sampled. It is almost fixed in L. europaeus across its Iberian range in the Pyrenean foothills, and in L. granatensis, which occupies the rest of the peninsula, it is predominant in the north and gradually disappears further south. We also found it in Lepus castroviejoi, a species endemic to Cantabria. Multiple hybridizations and, potentially, a selective advantage for the L. timidus lineage can explain the remarkable taxonomic and geographical range of this mitochondrial introgression.

Keywords Pubmed: Animals
Cluster Analysis
DNA Primers
DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics
Genetics, Population*
Hybridization, Genetic*
Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
Population Dynamics
Species Specificity

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