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Evolution. 2012 Mar;66(3):882-889. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01478.x. Epub 2011 Oct 28.

Chromosomal rearrangements do not seem to affect the gene flow in hybrid zones between karyotypic races of the common shrew (Sorex araneus).

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Department of Ecology and Evolution, Biophore Building, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland E-mail: agneshorn@gmail.comService de Médecine Préventive Hospitalière, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, 1011 Lausanne, SwitzerlandDépartement de biologie and Centre d'études Nordiques, Université Laval, 1045 avenue de la Médecine, Québec (QC), G1V 0A6, CanadaInstitute of Biology, Department of Biology and Chemistry, University of Białystok, Białystok, PolandInstitute of Cytology and Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Department, Novosibirsk 630090, RussiaDepartment of Cytology and Genetics, Novosibirsk State University, Novosibirsk 630090, RussiaSevertsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 117071, RussiaDepartment of Biology, University of York, YO10 5YW, United KingdomDepartment of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Corson Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2701Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Květná 8, CZ-603 65 Brno, Czech Republic.


Chromosomal rearrangements are proposed to promote genetic differentiation between chromosomally differentiated taxa and therefore promote speciation. Due to their remarkable karyotypic polymorphism, the shrews of the Sorex araneus group were used to investigate the impact of chromosomal rearrangements on gene flow. Five intraspecific chromosomal hybrid zones characterized by different levels of karyotypic complexity were studied using 16 microsatellites markers. We observed low levels of genetic differentiation even in the hybrid zones with the highest karyotypic complexity. No evidence of restricted gene flow between differently rearranged chromosomes was observed. Contrary to what was observed at the interspecific level, the effect of chromosomal rearrangements on gene flow was undetectable within the S. araneus species.

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