The rock partridge, Alectoris graeca, is a polytypic species declining in Italy mostly due to anthropogenic causes, including the massive releases of the closely related allochthonous chukar partridge Alectoris chukarwhich produced the formation of hybrids. Molecular approaches are fundamental for the identification of evolutionary units in the perspective of conservation and management, and to correctly select individuals to be used in restocking campaigns. We analyzed a Cytochrome oxidase I (COI) fragment of contemporary and historical A. graeca and A. chukar samples, using duplicated analyses to confirm results and nuclear DNA microsatellites to exclude possible sample cross-contamination. In two contemporary specimens of A. graeca, collected from an anthropogenic hybrid zone, we found evidence of the presence of mtDNA heteroplasmy possibly associated to paternal leakage and suggesting hybridization with captive-bred exotic A. chukar. These results underline significant limitations in the reliability of mtDNA barcoding-based species identification and could have relevant evolutionary and ecological implications that should be accounted for when interpreting data aimed to support conservation actions.
|Titolo:||New evidences of mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy by putative paternal leakage between the rock partridge (Alectorisgraeca) and the chukar partridge (Alectoris chukar)|
|Autori interni:||CHIESA, STEFANIA|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Articolo su rivista |