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Evolutionary history of the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) inferred from analysis of mtDNA, Y, and X chromosome markers

Brandli, L; Handley, Lori Jayne Lawson; Handley, LJL; Vogel, P; Perrin, N; Lawson Handley, Lori; Brändli, Laura; Handley, Lori-Jayne Lawson; Vogel, Peter; Perrin, Nicolas


L Brandli

Lori Jayne Lawson Handley

LJL Handley

P Vogel

N Perrin

Lori Lawson Handley

Laura Brändli

Lori-Jayne Lawson Handley

Peter Vogel

Nicolas Perrin


We investigate the evolutionary history of the greater white-toothed shrew across its distribution in northern Africa and mainland Europe using sex-specific (mtDNA and Y chromosome) and biparental (X chromosome) markers. All three loci confirm a large divergence between eastern (Tunisia and Sardinia) and western (Morocco and mainland Europe) lineages, and application of a molecular clock to mtDNA divergence estimates indicates a more ancient separation (2.25 Myr ago) than described by some previous studies, supporting claims for taxonomic revision. Moroccan ancestry for the mainland European population is inconclusive from phylogenetic trees, but is supported by greater nucleotide diversity and a more ancient population expansion in Morocco than in Europe. Signatures of rapid population expansion in mtDNA, combined with low X and Y chromosome diversity, suggest a single colonization of mainland Europe by a small number of Moroccan shrews >38 Kyr ago. This study illustrates that multilocus genetic analyses can facilitate the interpretation of species' evolutionary history but that phylogeographic inference using X and Y chromosomes is restricted by low levels of observed polymorphism.


Brändli, L., Handley, L. L., Vogel, P., & Perrin, N. (2005). Evolutionary history of the greater white-toothed shrew (Crocidura russula) inferred from analysis of mtDNA, Y, and X chromosome markers. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 37(3), 832-844.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 22, 2005
Online Publication Date Aug 10, 2005
Publication Date 2005-12
Journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Print ISSN 1055-7903
Electronic ISSN 1095-9513
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 3
Pages 832-844
Keywords Sex-specific loci; Y-chromosome; X-chromosome; mtDNA; Gibraltar Strait; Colonization; Expansion; Phylogeography; Bayesian analysis
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