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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2003 Jul;28(1):119-30.

The phylogeographic importance of the Strait of Gibraltar as a gene flow barrier in terrestrial arthropods: a case study with the scorpion Buthus occitanus as model organism.

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  • 1The University of Edinburgh, Institute of Cell, Animal and Population Biology (ICAPB), Ashworth Laboratories, West Mains Road, EH9 3JT, Edinburgh, UK. b.gantenbein@ed.ac.uk

Abstract

The phylogenetic relationship between Buthus occitanus populations across the Strait of Gibraltar was investigated using nuclear 18S/ITS-1 DNA sequences and mitochondrial 16S and COI DNA sequences. All analyses showed that the European samples are highly separated from North African samples, and also suggest the existence of three main groups within this species complex, i.e., an European, an Atlas (=Moroccan samples) and a Tell-Atlas group (=Tunisian samples). The European clade was subdivided into three distinct subclades. The application of a previous calibration of the molecular clock of another buthid species suggested that most of the detected mitochondrial DNA lineages including the European lineages are about three times older than the re-opening of the Gibraltar Strait, and consequently, that other and older vicariant events are responsible for the observed phylogeographic structure of this species complex. Concerning the Moroccan samples, a discordance between nuclear and mitochondrial gene markers was observed. The 18S/ITS-1 gene tree could not resolve the phylogenetic relationships among the Moroccan B. occitanus subspecies and the closely related species B. atlantis, whereas mitochondrial genes suggested the co-existence of several old phylogenetic lineages in Morocco. We hypothesized that this difference may be explained by male-biased gene flow and gene conversion at the tandemly repeated 18S/ITS-1 gene regions.

PMID:
12801475
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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