Analysis of Spermophilus pallidicauda Satunin, 1903 from three localities in Mongolia using cytogenetic characteristics (chromosome number and morphology, as well as the number and localization of nucleolus organizer regions) revealed the presence of a first-generation (F1) hybrid animal (2n = 36), of the paletailed S. pallidicauda (2n = 34) and alashanic S. alaschanicus (2n = 38) ground squirrels in the contact zone of their ranges. Analysis of nuclear DNA from ten ground squirrels (from a set of karyologically examined animals) by RAPD-PCR with eight oligonucleotide primers (OPA10, OPA12, OPC02, OPC05, OPC08, OPC09, OPC12, and OPD05) revealed four hybrids in two sites, with one of the hybrid being F1. The position of the hybrids in phylogenetic reconstructions made for the subgenera Citellus and Colobotis species varied depending on the method used. In the UPGMA dendrogram of genetic similarity hybrids formed their own subcluster with high bootstrap index (949) within the cluster of Citellus species. In the NJ phylogenetic tree, hybrids also clustered with high bootstrap index (886). But in this case they were located between the Colobotis and Citellus species clusters. The mtDNA haplotypes of the three hybrids examined were highly similar to the Colobotis ground squirrels, albeit in phylogenetic reconstructions they were placed between Colobotis and Citellus. The sites of the hybrid animals identification were located more than 200 km apart. Hence, the contact zone between the S. pallidicauda and S. alaschanicus can encompass a large territory in Mongolia.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 19, 2006
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