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Cryptic population structuring and the role of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as a gene flow barrier in the critically endangered Central American River Turtle

Gonzalez-Porter, Gracia P., Maldonado, Jesus E., Flores-Villela, Oscar, Vogt, Richard C., Janke, Axel, Fleischer, Robert C. and Hailer, Frank 2013. Cryptic population structuring and the role of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec as a gene flow barrier in the critically endangered Central American River Turtle. Plos One 8 (9) , e71668. 10.1371/journal.pone.0071668

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Abstract

The critically endangered Central American River Turtle (Dermatemys mawii) is the only remaining member of the Dermatemydidae family, yet little is known about its population structuring. In a previous study of mitochondrial (mt) DNA in the species, three main lineages were described. One lineage (Central) was dominant across most of the range, while two other lineages were restricted to Papaloapan (PAP; isolated by the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Sierra de Santa Marta) or the south-eastern part of the range (1D). Here we provide data from seven polymorphic microsatellite loci and the R35 intron to re-evaluate these findings using DNA from the nuclear genome. Based on a slightly expanded data set of a total of 253 samples from the same localities, we find that mtDNA and nuclear DNA markers yield a highly congruent picture of the evolutionary history and population structuring of D. mawii. While resolution provided by the R35 intron (sequenced for a subset of the samples) was very limited, the microsatellite data revealed pronounced population structuring. Within the Grijalva-Usumacinta drainage basin, however, many populations separated by more than 300 kilometers showed signals of high gene flow. Across the entire range, neither mitochondrial nor nuclear DNA show a significant isolation-by-distance pattern, but both genomes highlight that the D. mawii population in the Papaloapan basin is genetically distinctive. Further, both marker systems detect unique genomic signals in four individuals with mtDNA clade 1D sampled on the southeast edge of the Grijalva-Usumacinta basin. These individuals may represent a separate cryptic taxon that is likely impacted by recent admixture.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 5 July 2013
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 18:31
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/69920

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