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Keywords:

  • common shrew;
  • introgression;
  • karyotypic structure;
  • mtDNA;
  • sex-specific loci;
  • Sorex araneus group;
  • Y chromosome

Abstract

In hybrid zones, endogenous counter-selection of hybrids is usually first expressed as reduced fertility or viability in hybrids of the heterogametic sex, a mechanism known as Haldane’s rule. This phenomenon often leads to a differential of gene flow between sex-linked markers. Here, we address the possibility of a differential gene flow for Y chromosome, mtDNA and autosomal markers across the hybrid zone between the genetically and chromosomally well-differentiated species Sorex antinoriiand Sorex araneus race Vaud. Intermarker comparison clearly revealed coincidental centre and very abrupt clines for all three types of markers. The overall level of genetic differentiation between the two species must be strong enough to hinder asymmetric introgression. Cyto-nuclear mismatches were also observed in the centre of hybrid zone. The significantly lower number of mismatches observed in males than in females possibly results from Y chromosome–mtDNA interactions. Results are compared with those previously reported in another hybrid zone between S. antinori and S. araneus race Cordon.