Postglacial Population History of the Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) in Fennoscandia : Molekylära studier av återkolonisation, könsbundet genflöde och kromosomrasbildning
Abstract: The common shrew, Sorex araneus, has one of the most variable karyotypes among mammals, displaying numerous chromosomes races throughout its distribution, which can be categorized into different karyotypic groups. The objective of this thesis was to examine the postglacial population history of Fennoscandian common shrews using autosomal microsatellites, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and a Y chromosome specific microsatellite (L8Y).Autosomal microsatellites and mtDNA revealed weak genetic structure over a hybrid zone between the karyotypically divergent Northern and Western karyotypic groups. However, the genetic structure displayed by the Y chromosome microsatellite was orders of magnitude higher. Hence, considerable chromosomal differences between the groups do not prevent female gene flow, while male gene flow is reduced (cf. Haldane's rule). Further, the results suggest that the Haldane effect may be caused by the chromosomal differences between the karyotypic groups.No mtDNA differentiation was observed either between chromosome races or between the Northern and Western karyotypic groups in Fennoscandia. The combined pattern of karyotypic and mtDNA variation of Fennoscandian common shrews, suggest bi-directional postglacial recolonisation from a single refugium in Europe. The variation of the Y-linked microsatellite supported this conclusion. In contrast, significant mtDNA structure, discordant with the karyotypic variation, revealed that common shrews in southern Finland belong to a different lineage than remaining Fennoscandian regions, implying postglacial recolonisation from a different source.MtDNA variation of the chromosome races in Sweden supports the hypothesis that three races of the Western karyotypic group have been formed through whole arm reciprocal translocations (WARTs), as suggested by their mutual karyotypic variation. The variation of the molecular markers supports the theory of rapid karyotypic evolution in the common shrew.
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