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Genome dosage effect and colouration features in hybridogenetic water frogs of the Pelophylax esculentus complex

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There are three taxons of central European water frogs of the Pelophylax esculentus complex: two morphologically distinct species, Pelophylax lessonae (LL) and Pelophylax ridibundus (RR), and hybrids Pelophylax esculentus, which can be either diploid (RL) or triploid (LLR or RRL). The morphology of hybrids is supposed to follow genome dosage effect. We describe colouration of water frogs with genome composition verified by chromosome analysis. Typical colouration features in LL were: spots on the ventral side, brown limbs, “weak” femur spotting pattern, brown dorsal folds and yellow-green colour in “waist”. Typical RR had dark-green or olive-green limbs, “full” femur spotting pattern, no hip spot and no yellow colour in “waist”. For all hybrids the most typical features were strong spots on the ventral side and a mosaic of green and brown colour on limbs. Typical LLR had brown-greenish dorsal folds underlined by a partial black line, “weak” femur spotting pattern and yellow-greenish colour in “waist” and on femur. Typical RL had greenish hind limbs, green dorsal folds, no yellow colour in “waist”, and no hip spot. Typical RRL was similar to RL, but had a continuous black line under dorsal folds. There were, however, numerous exceptions to these trends, with the most prominent being much higher than expected variability of colouration of Pelophylax lessonae. Therefore caution must be advised when trying to estimate genome composition of water frogs solely on the basis of colouration.

Affiliations: 1: 1Laboratory of Biology and Conservation of Vertebrates, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, University of Wrocław, ul. Sienkiewicza 21, 50-335 Wrocław, Poland; 2: 2Laboratory of Numerical Methods in Ecology, Department of Ecology, Biogeochemistry and Environmental Protection, University of Wrocław, pl. M. Borna 9, 50-204 Wrocław, Poland; 3: 3Department of Zoology, Kazimierz Wielki University, Al. Ossolińskich 12, 85-067 Bydgoszcz, Poland; 4: 4Department of Human Biology and Ecology, University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Al. I.J. Paderewskiego 35, 51-612 Wrocław, Poland

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    • Publication Date : 06 December 2013
    • DOI : 10.1163/15685381-00002904_002
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2013-01-01
2016-12-07

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