Apr 23, 2010

Phylogeographic history of grey wolves in Europe

BMC Evolutionary Biology
Malgorzata PilotElena Tsingarska

Abstract

While it is generally accepted that patterns of intra-specific genetic differentiation are substantially affected by glacial history, population genetic processes occurring during Pleistocene glaciations are still poorly understood. In this study, we address the question of the genetic consequences of Pleistocene glaciations for European grey wolves. Combining our data with data from published studies, we analysed phylogenetic relationships and geographic distribution of mitochondrial DNA haplotypes for 947 contemporary European wolves. We also compared the contemporary wolf sequences with published sequences of 24 ancient European wolves. We found that haplotypes representing two haplogroups, 1 and 2, overlap geographically, but substantially differ in frequency between populations from south-western and eastern Europe. A comparison between haplotypes from Europe and other continents showed that both haplogroups are spread throughout Eurasia, while only haplogroup 1 occurs in contemporary North American wolves. All ancient wolf samples from western Europe that dated from between 44,000 and 1,200 years B.P. belonged to haplogroup 2, suggesting the long-term predominance of this haplogroup in this region. Moreover, a comparison ...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Genetic Drift
DNA, Mitochondrial
Wolves
Grizzly Bears
Sample Fixation
Phylogeny
Coyotes
Nucleotides
Canis lupus
Mammoth <Mammuthus primigenius>

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