Analysis of nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region (495 bp) of sables (Martes zibellina) and pine martens (M. martes) from allopatric parts of the species ranges has shown a considerable interspecific genetic distance (>3%). In sympatric populations of these species in the northern Urals, differences between two species-specific mtDNA lineages are still large; however, classification of each individual nucleotide sequence with one of the two lineages is not correlated with whether the given animal is phenotypically a sable, a pine marten, or a potential hybrid (the so-called “kidas”). This indicates a high degree of reciprocal introgression of the sable and pine marten mtDNA in the northern Urals and suggests that their interspecific hybridization is common in the sympatric zone.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 25, 2010
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