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Mol Ecol. 2001 May;10(5):1207-25.

Population structure in two sympatric species of the Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Eretmodini: evidence for introgression.

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Zoological Museum, University of Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland.


Patterns of genetic differentiation were analysed and compared in two sympatric species of the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid tribe Eretmodini by means of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of the control region and six microsatellite DNA loci. The sample area covers a total of 138 km of mostly uninterrupted rocky shoreline in the Democratic Republic of Congo and includes the entire distribution range of Tanganicodus cf. irsacae that stretches over a distance of 35 km. Both markers detected significant genetic differentiation within and between the two species. T. cf. irsacae contained lower overall genetic variation than Eretmoduscyanostictus, possibly due to its more restricted range of distribution and its smaller effective population sizes. Complete fixation of Tanganicodus mtDNA haplotypes was observed in Eretmodus at two localities, while at two other localities some Tanganicodus individuals possessed Eretmodus mtDNA haplotypes. Taking into account the relatively large average sequence divergence of 6.2% between the two species, as well as the geographical distribution of mtDNA haplotypes in the lake, the observed pattern is more likely to be a consequence of asymmetric introgression than of shared ancestral polymorphism. As there is significant population differentiation between sympatric Tanganicodus and Eretmodus populations, the events of introgressions may have happened after secondary contact, but our data provide no evidence for ongoing gene flow and suggest that both species are reproductively isolated at present time.

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