Jun 9, 2017

Quaternary history, population genetic structure and diversity of the cold-adapted Alpine newt Ichthyosaura alpestris in peninsular Italy

Scientific Reports
Andrea ChiocchioDaniele Canestrelli


Mediterranean peninsulas are major biodiversity hotspots, and cold-adapted species are an important component of this biodiversity. However, cold-adapted species contributed surprisingly little to our knowledge of the intimate links between Quaternary environmental changes, species' responses to these changes, and current patterns of intraspecific biodiversity. Here, we investigated the genetic structure and evolutionary history of a cold-adapted amphibian, the Alpine newt Ichthyosaura alpestris, within the Italian peninsula. Nuclear and mitochondrial markers consistently identified three distinct genetic lineages, whose divergence dates to the Early Pleistocene (1.9 and 0.8 million years ago). Our results show that the Italian peninsula provided multiple Pleistocene refugia to this cold-adapted species, and suggest that allopatric fragmentation followed by secondary admixture have been key events in the formation of its current pattern of genetic diversity. Indeed, estimates of population genetic diversity clearly identified contact populations as those achieving the highest levels of diversity. Such concordance among cold-adapted and temperate species in terms of processes triggering the formation of regional patterns of gene...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

Biological Markers
Abnormal Fragmented Structure
Protein Structure, Quaternary
Alpine strawberry extract
Genetic Hotspot
Genetic Structures

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