Acta Theriologica

, Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 383–386

Gene introgression between Gazella subgutturosa and G. marica: limitations of maternal inheritance analysis for species identification with conservation purposes


  • Marine Murtskhvaladze
    • Institute of EcologyIlia State University
  • Zurab Gurielidze
    • Institute of EcologyIlia State University
  • Natia Kopaliani
    • Institute of EcologyIlia State University
    • Institute of EcologyIlia State University
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s13364-012-0079-8

Cite this article as:
Murtskhvaladze, M., Gurielidze, Z., Kopaliani, N. et al. Acta Theriol (2012) 57: 383. doi:10.1007/s13364-012-0079-8


It has recently been suggested that goitered gazelles (Gazella subgutturosa and Gazella marica) have paraphyletic maternal origin, and that the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene fragment can be used for species identification prior to reintroduction of the gazelles. Although there is a large geographic area where the gazelles have intermediate morphology, previous researchers have not inferred any signs of mitochondrial haplotype introgression, and it is thought that the introgression, if it exists, is male-biased. We studied mitochondrial haplotypes of morphologically typical G. subgutturosa from two geographic locations. Goitered gazelles from eastern Turkey, morphologically identical to G. subgutturosa, had haplotypes identical to G. marica. This finding confirms ongoing maternal gene introgression from G. marica to G. subgutturosa. Our suggestion is that there is a natural gene flow between these two nominal species, and morphological characters together with recombinant genetic markers rather than mitochondrial DNA should be used to differentiate among individuals from areas close to the contact zone.


Gazella subgutturosaGazella maricaHybridizationSpecies identificationReintroductionMitochondrial DNA

Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Polish Academy of Sciences, Białowieża, Poland 2012