Widespread translocation from autosomes to sex chromosomes preserves genetic variability in an endangered lark

M. De L Brooke, Justin A. Welbergen, Mark C. Mainwaring, Marco Van Der Velde, A. M F Harts, Jan Komdeur, William Amos

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Species that pass repeatedly through narrow population bottlenecks (<100 individuals) are likely to have lost a large proportion of their genetic variation. Having genotyped 92 Raso larks Alauda razae, a Critically Endangered single-island endemic whose world population in the Cape Verdes over the last 100 years has fluctuated between about 15 and 130 pairs, we found variation at 7 of 21 microsatellite loci that successfully amplified, the remaining loci being monomorphic. At 6 of the polymorphic loci variation was sex-linked, despite the fact that these microsatellites were not sex-linked in the other passerine birds where they were developed. Comparative analysis strongly suggests that material from several different autosomes has been recently transferred to the sex chromosomes in larks. Sex-linkage might plausibly allow some level of heterozygosity to be maintained, even in the face of persistently small population sizes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)242-246
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
    Volume70
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

    Keywords

    • Alauda razae
    • Genetic bottlenecks
    • Microsatellite polymorphism
    • Raso lark
    • Sex-linkage

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