An unusual mitochondrial DNA polymorphism in the Chorthippus biguttulus species group (Orthoptera: Acrididae)

Authors

  • D. J. MASON,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Wales College of Cardiff, PO Box 915, Cardiff CF1 3TL
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    • *University of Bristol, Department of Anatomy, Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EJ

  • R. K. BUTLIN,

    1. School of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Wales College of Cardiff, PO Box 915, Cardiff CF1 3TL
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    • †Department of Genetics, The University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK.

  • P. GACESA

    1. ‡Department of Biochemistry, University of Wales College of Cardiff, PO Box 903, Cardiff CF1 1ST, UK
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  • This work was canied out while Debbie Mason was a research student with Roger Butlin, then a Royal society University Research Fellow in Cardiff. Debbie Mason is now involved in bone disease research and is currently investigating the molecular biology of bone at Bristol University. Roger Butlin is continuing his work on the evolution of mating signals in grasshoppers, and other insects, at The University of L-eeds. Peter Gacesa provided invaluable advice and assistance with molecular techniques for this study. His own research is on alginate metabolism in seaweeds.

University of Bristol, Department of Anatomy, Southwell Street, Bristol BS2 8EJ. Fax 0272 254794.

Abstract

Mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment patterns have been used to investigate the Chorthippus biguttulus group: a group of morphologically similar grasshopper species with very distinct male calling songs. Ten haplotypes were identified in 21 populations, representing six species. Haplotype diversity was as great within species, and in some case within populations, as it was among species and no clear geographical patterns of haplotype distribution were revealed. In the light of grasshopper range changes since the last glaciation it is unlikely that these data can be explained entirely by the retention of ancestral polymorphism. This suggests that hybridization has occurred during periods of grasshopper range expansion since the last glacial maximum, allowing mtDNA transfer between populations that have previously diverged in allopatry.

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