Interspecific Introgression in Cetaceans: DNA Markers Reveal Post-F1 Status of a Pilot Whale
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AuthorsMiralles, L. (Laura); Lens, S. (Santiago); Rodríguez-Folgar, A. (Antonio); Carrillo, M. (Manuel); Martín, V. (Vidal); Mikkelsen, B. (Bjarni); García-Vázquez, E. (Eva)
Visual species identification of cetacean strandings is difficult, especially when dead specimens are degraded and/or species are morphologically similar. The two recognised pilot whale species (Globicephala melas and Globicephala macrorhynchus) are sympatric in the North Atlantic Ocean. These species are very similar in external appearance and their morphometric characteristics partially overlap; thus visual identification is not always reliable. Genetic species identification ensures correct identification of specimens. Here we have employed one mitochondrial (D-Loop region) and eight nuclear loci (microsatellites) as genetic markers to identify six stranded pilot whales found in Galicia (Northwest Spain), one of them of ambiguous phenotype. DNA analyses yielded positive amplification of all loci and enabled species identification. Nuclear microsatellite DNA genotypes revealed mixed ancestry for one individual, identified as a post-F1 interspecific hybrid employing two different ...
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