Geological events play a larger role than Pleistocene climatic fluctuations in driving the genetic structure of Quasipaa boulengeri (Anura: Dicroglossidae)

Authors

  • Fang Yan,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Weiwei Zhou,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
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  • Haitao Zhao,

    1. College of Life Sciences, Bijie University, Bijie, China
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  • Zhiyong Yuan,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
    2. Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Yunyu Wang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
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  • Ke Jiang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
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  • Jieqiong Jin,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
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  • Robert W. Murphy,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
    2. Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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  • Jing Che,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
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  • Yaping Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-resources, Yunnan University, Kunming, China
    • State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, China
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Correspondence: Yaping Zhang, Fax: 86-871-5195430, E-mail: zhangyp@mail.kiz.ac.cn and Jing Che, Fax: 86-871-5133185, E-mail: chej@mail.kiz.ac.cn

Abstract

Paleoclimatic and paleogeological events have been identified as being the two main drivers of genetic structuring in extant organisms. We used a montane stream-dwelling frog, Quasipaa boulengeri, to explore the relative roles played by these drivers on species in southern China, a region needing thorough studies. We detected four major matrilines, and no broadly distributed haplotypes occurred. The complex orogenesis of south-western China drove matrilineal divergence in Q. boulengeri into highly structured geographical units. These matrilines subsequently persisted in situ with stable populations rather than undergoing expansions during glacial cycling. The unification of the upper and middle Yangtze River in the Three Gorges mountain region mediated downstream colonization of this frog. Analyses identified geological events as playing a larger role than climatic fluctuations in driving the population history of Q. boulengeri. Nuclear allele analyses indicated gene flow; this maintained genetic cohesion of the species. South-eastern Sichuan Basin was identified as the area of secondary contact for several matrilines, and this area deserves further study and special protection.

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