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Genetic diversity of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) in the South-West region of Hungary – first results

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

A set of five polymorphic microsatellite markers developed in Emydoidea blandingii was characterized for crossspecies amplification in the European pond turtle, Emys orbicularis. The markers were tested for polymorphism in a total of 155 turtles sampled in four natural habitats in the Danube-Drava National Park, South-West Hungary in order to determine the genetic diversity of European pond turtle populations and to check the functionality of existing ecological corridors in the region. The number of alleles varied from 5 to 24. Observed heterozygosity was moderate (0.43-0.55), while the level for expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.76 to 0.80. Significant heterozygote deficit was found in the populations accompanied by a low degree of genetic differentiation (FST ranges from 0.0166 to 0.0652). Wahlund effect was demonstrated in two populations. The ecological corridor between two water catchment areas (Lake Balaton and Drava River) fulfils its role only partially.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Animal Science, Kaposvár University, Guba S. 40, 7400 Kaposvár, Hungary;, Email:; 2: Research Institute for Fisheries, Aquaculture and Irrigation, 5540 Szarvas, Hungary; 3: Department of Poultry and Companion-Animal Breeding, Faculty of Animal Science, Kaposvár University, 7401 Kaposvár, Hungary; 4: Department of Nature Conservation, Faculty of Animal Science, Kaposvár University, Guba S. 40, 7400 Kaposvár, Hungary; 5: Department of Physiology and Animal Hygiene, Faculty of Animal Science, Kaposvár University, 7401 Kaposvár, Hungary


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