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Behavioural reproductive isolation in a rotifer hybrid zone

05 Mar Behavioural reproductive isolation in a rotifer hybrid zone

Berrieman, H. K., D. H. Lunt, and A. Gomez (2005) Behavioural reproductive isolation in a rotifer hybrid zone. HYDROBIOLOGIA 546:125-134. PDF
A hybrid zone between two Brachionus plicatilis rotifer mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages was recently described in the Iberian Peninsula between a pond (Santed 2) and a lake (Gallocanta). The patterns of mitochondrial and nuclear genetic variation observed suggested that gene flow is mainly male-mediated from the lake to the pond. Here we test two hypotheses: (a) that male-mediated gene flow occurs through assortative mating between individuals from these ponds, (b) that behavioural isolation occurs between the two mtDNA lineages. We isolated, reared and genotyped rotifer clones from resting eggs collected in the sediments of these and two other distant ponds. We devised a quick, inexpensive RFLP method to discriminate between B. plicatilis and its sibling species B. ‘Manjavacas’ and between both mtDNA B. plicatilis lineages. Behavioural no-choice tests using new-born, virgin males and females were performed between five clones. B. ‘Manjavacas’ and B. plicatilis were reproductively isolated. B. plicatilis clones did not show evidence of reproductive isolation, regardless of their mtDNA lineage, except Santed 2 males, which discriminated strongly against Gallocanta females. These results could help to explain the discrepancies between mitochondrial and nuclear genetic variation reported in the two populations.

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