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Heredity (Edinb). 2002 Apr;88(4):235-42.

The evolutionary history of the two karyotypic groups of the common shrew, Sorex araneus, in Poland.

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  • 1Institute of Biology, University of Białystok, Swierkowa 20 B, 15-950 Białystok, Poland.


Genetic variability within and among two karyotypic groups and five chromosome races of the common shrew (Sorex araneus) in Poland was assayed by sequencing a 1023 bp part of the cytochrome b gene (mtDNA) from 28 individuals. Thirty-four variable positions defined 21 distinct haplotypes with a maximum sequence divergence of 0.88%. No significant differentiation in the cytochrome b gene between Western and Eastern Karyotypic groups was found. Haplotype diversity estimates within the races and groups sampled were high (h = 0.800-0.928), while nucleotide diversity estimates were low (pi = 0.0034-0.0053). The distribution of pairwise nucleotide differences fits well with expectations of a "sudden expansion" model. High haplotype diversity was accompanied by relatively high expected heterozygosity (H(E)) values in nuclear genes (calculated over 47 enzyme loci: H(E) = 0.031 - 0.049), giving no evidence for a recent bottleneck after the process of post-Pleistocene recolonization of Poland by the shrews. Thus, for S. araneus chromosome races in Poland, the data on the cytochrome b gene variability support the hypothesis assuming the Robertsonian fusions having spread into an ancestral acrocentric distribution.

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