Depleted genetic variation of the European ground squirrel in Central Europe in both microsatellites and the major histocompatibility complex gene: Implications for conservation

Říčanová, S; Bryja, J; Cosson, J-F; Gedeon, C [Gedeon, Csongor István (Gedeon Csongor), szerző] Környezetinformatikai Osztály (ATK / TAKI); Choleva, L; Ambros, M; Sedláček, F

Angol nyelvű Tudományos Szakcikk (Folyóiratcikk)
Megjelent: CONSERVATION GENETICS 1566-0621 12 (4) pp. 1115-1129 2011
  • SJR Scopus - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics: Q2
    Habitat fragmentation may influence the genetic make-up and adaptability of endangered populations. To facilitate genetic monitoring of the endangered European ground squirrel (EGS), we analyzed 382 individuals from 16 populations in Central Europe, covering almost half of its natural range. We tested how fragmentation affects the genetic architecture of presumably selectively neutral (12 microsatellites) and non-neutral (the major histocompatibility class II DRB gene) loci. Spatial genetic analyses defined two groups of populations, "western" and "eastern", with a significantly higher level of habitat fragmentation in the former group. The highly fragmented western populations had significantly lower genetic diversity in both types of markers. Only one allele of the DRB gene predominated in populations of the western group, while four alleles were evenly distributed across the eastern populations. Coefficient of inbreeding values (FIS) calculated from microsatellites were significantly higher in the western (0. 27-0. 79) than in eastern populations (-0. 060-0. 119). Inter-population differentiation was very high, but similar in both groups (western FST = 0. 23, eastern FST = 0. 25). The test of isolation by distance was significant for the whole dataset, as well as for the two groups analyzed separately. Comparison of genetic variability and structure on microsatellites and the DRB gene does not provide any evidence for contemporary selection on MHC genes. We suggest that genetic drift in small bottlenecked and fragmented populations may overact the role of balancing selection. Based on the resulting risk of inbreeding depression in the western populations, we support population management by crossbreeding between the western and eastern populations. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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    2021-04-19 21:32