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Journal Article

Mitochondrial-DNA Variation in the Crested Newt Superspecies: Limited Cytoplasmic Gene flow Among Species

Graham P. Wallis and J. W. Arntzen
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 1 (Jan., 1989), pp. 88-104
DOI: 10.2307/2409166
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409166
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Mitochondrial-DNA Variation in the Crested Newt Superspecies: Limited Cytoplasmic Gene flow Among Species
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Abstract

The crested newt has a widespread European distribution and encompasses four taxa recently elevated to full species: Triturus cristatus, T carnifex, T dobrogicus, and T. karelini. These are distinct on morphological, chromosomal, and isozymic grounds and have fairly sharp transition zones. A widespread survey (12 countries, 49 geographic sites, 210 individuals) of mtDNA variation (20-27 restriction enzyme sites mapped per individual) was made in order to 1) correlate mtDNA variation with morphological features defining the species, 2) determine the degree of differentiation within and among species, and 3) detect any introgression among species. The mtDNAs of these species were clearly differentiated (d = 3.9-7.1%). Additionally, geographic structuring was observed within T carnifex and T. karelini, each displaying two divergent mitochondrial genome types (d = 3.5% and 4.7%, respectively). The other two (more northerly distributed) species were genetically homogeneous over most (T. cristatus) or all (T. dobrogicus) of their ranges. In the case of T cristatus, one may infer bottlenecking as a result of Pleistocene glaciation events. This may also apply in part to T dobrogicus, but high population connectedness and gene flow in this lowland river species may alone be sufficient for homogenization of mtDNA. Patterns of mtDNA variation were largely concordant with morphology; some interspecific mitochondrial gene flow was observed, but only close to or in the transition zones. Analyses of mapped restriction-site data by UPGMA and parsimony methods (using the closely related T. marmoratus as an outgroup) produce very similar dendrograms. The levels of divergence found concur with the systematics of the group, but the differentiation within T. carnifex and T karelini is notable.

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