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Genetica. 2011 May;139(5):699-707. doi: 10.1007/s10709-011-9578-9. Epub 2011 May 4.

Current and historical hybridization with differential introgression among three species of cyprinid fishes (genus Cyprinella).

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  • 1Oklahoma Biological Survey and Department of Zoology, University of Oklahoma, 111 E Chesapeake St, Norman, OK 73019, USA.


Hybridization is common among freshwater fishes, particular among the Cyprinidae. We used two mitochondrial genes and one nuclear gene to characterize hybridization among two species pairs of Cyprinella in southwestern North America. Genalogical patterns revealed that C. lutrensis and C. venusta are currently hybridizing in several localities producing apparent F(1), F(2) and backcross generations, yet there was no evidence for introgression outside of local hybrid zones. Alternatively, mitochondrial haplotypes from C. lutrensis appear to have introgressed into a C. lepida population in the Nueces River completely replacing the native C. lepida haplotype. There was no evidence of introgression of nuclear DNA and there does not appear to be ongoing hybridization. The population of C. lepida from the nearby Frio River exhibits no evidence of hybridization with C. lutrensis. Thus, contact between C. lutrensis and C. venusta results in the formation of localized hybrid swarms, while contact between C. lutrensis and C. lepida has resulted in complete mitochondrial introgression in the Nueces River or no apparent hybridization in the Frio River. The three different outcomes of contact between these species illustrate the variable nature of interspecific reproductive interactions and provide an excellent system in which to better understand the factors influencing hybridization among freshwater fishes.

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