The work attempts to explain the previously discovered phenomenon of excessive taxonomic status of the species and subspecies of Cuban hutias relative to their protein genetic divergence. The reasons underlying the fragmentary distribution of the species belonging to the family Capromyidae over the Antilles and Bahamas is also considered. Samples of four geographically distant hutia (genera Capromys and Mysateles) populations inhabiting different biotypes were assessed according to 32 allozyme loci. It has been demonstrated that the interpopulation and subspecies differentiation in the gene frequencies in these genera is very low. As for the pattern of polymorphism (Shannon’s measure), the populations and subspecies within these genera are well differentiated and adequate to their morphological differentiation. This suggests that the genetic divergence pattern of hutias in post-Pleistoce ne was predominantly determined by selection on the background of a relatively rapid formation of multiple morphotypes. It is assumed that the evolution within the family Capromyidae in the earlier and the later periods was associated with the geomorphological and climatic events in the history of the Earth. This standpoint provides for explaining the phenomena of both the excessive taxonomic status of the Cuban Capromyinae and the fragmentary distribution of these species over the Antilles and Bahamas, amazing at a first glance.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 2, 2010
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