Genetic structure of house mouse (Mus musculus Linnaeus 1758) populations in the Atlantic archipelago of the Azores: colonization and dispersal

Authors

  • Sofia I. Gabriel,

    1. Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, CESAM – Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Lisbon, Portugal
    2. Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK
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  • Maria Da Luz Mathias,

    1. Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, CESAM – Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies, Lisbon, Portugal
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  • Jeremy B. Searle

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
    • Department of Biology, University of York, York, UK
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Corresponding author. E-mail: jeremy.searle@cornell.edu

Abstract

We analyzed the genetic structure and relationships of house mouse (Mus musculus) populations in the remote Atlantic archipelago of the Azores using nuclear sequences and microsatellites. We typed Btk and Zfy2 to confirm that the subspecies Mus musculus domesticus was the predominant genome in the archipelago. Nineteen microsatellite loci (one per autosome) were typed in a total of 380 individuals from all nine Azorean islands, the neighbouring Madeiran archipelago (Madeira and Porto Santo islands), and mainland Portugal. Levels of heterozygosity were high on the islands, arguing against population bottlenecking. The Azorean house mouse populations were differentiated from the Portuguese and Madeiran populations and no evidence of recent migration between the three was obtained. Within the Azores, the Eastern, Western, and Central island groups tended to act as separate genetic units for house mice, with some exceptions. In particular, there was evidence of recent migration events among islands of the Central island group, whose populations were relatively undifferentiated. Santa Maria had genetically distinctive mice, which may relate to its colonization history. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London

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