Analysis of sex-linked sequences supports a new mammal species in Europe

Authors

  • LINDA HELLBORG,

    1. Department of Evolutionary Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden,
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  • İSLAM GÜNDÜZ,

    1. Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Ondokuz Mayis University, TR-55139 Kurupelit, Samsun, Turkey,
    2. Department of Cell and Organism Biology, Genetics Building, Lund University, Sölvegatan 29, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden
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  • MAARIT JAAROLA

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell and Organism Biology, Genetics Building, Lund University, Sölvegatan 29, SE-223 62 Lund, Sweden
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Maarit Jaarola, Fax: +46 46 147874; E-mail: maarit.jaarola@cob.lu.se

Abstract

European mammals have been the focus of particularly detailed taxonomic studies by traditional morphological methods. However, DNA analyses have the potential to reveal additional, cryptic species. We describe two highly divergent evolutionary lineages within a small Eurasian mammal, the field vole (Microtus agrestis). We show that the two lineages can be detected not only with maternally (mitochondrial DNA), but also with paternally (Y chromosome) and biparentally (X chromosome) inherited DNA sequences. Reciprocal monophyly of all genealogies and their congruent geographical distributions is consistent with reproductive isolation. Our results suggest that the field vole should be reclassified as two separate species.

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