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Population differentiation of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) in Poland inferred by the analysis of mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA: implications for conservation

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We investigated the genetic diversity of Polish populations of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) using complete sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and allelic variation at thirteen microsatellite loci. We collected data from 146 turtles from 28 locations covering most of the species’ range in Poland. Our results showed a low haplotype diversity and high levels of microsatellite diversity in all populations. We applied two Bayesian approaches using the multilocus data and determined relationships of mtDNA haplotypes by constructing a parsimony network. We observed relatively consistent results of the two Bayesian clustering methods and largely concordant differentiation patterns between mitochondrial and microsatellite markers. All eastern Polish populations were assigned in a highly supported eastern group, while the majority of turtles from western Poland were joined in a distinct western group. The most probable number of population clusters corresponded to the number of native mtDNA lineages. Additionally, we detected a hierarchical structure within the eastern lineage splitting the populations into two subgroups. Polish populations generally constitute genetically homogenous groups, characterized by a low population admixture, with only negligible impact from allochthonous turtles.

Affiliations: 1: 1Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences, Postępu 36A, 05-552 Magdalenka, Poland; 2: 2Department of Biosystematics, Opole University, Oleska 22, 45-052 Opole, Poland; 3: 3Institute of Civil and Environmental Engineering/Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Zielona Góra, Prof. Z. Szafrana 15, 65-516 Zielona Góra, Poland; 4: 7Department of Molecular and Forensic Genetics, Ludwik Rydygier Collegium Medicum, Institute of Forensic Medicine, The Nicolaus Copernicus University, M. Curie Skłodowskiej 9, 85-094 Bydgoszcz, Poland; 5: 4Institute of Zoology, Field Station in Urwitałt, Warsaw University, 11-730 Mikołajki, Poland; 6: 5City Zoological Garden in Warsaw, Ratuszowa 1/3, 03-461 Warsaw, Poland; 7: 6Lublin Landscape Parks, Pl. Niepodległości 1, 22-100 Chełm, Poland

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2013-01-01
2016-12-08

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