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Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 741–758 | Cite as

Cryptic genetic diversity in Rattus of the San Francisco Bay region, California

  • Chris J. ConroyEmail author
  • Kevin C. Rowe
  • Karen M. C. Rowe
  • Pauline L. Kamath
  • Ken P. Aplin
  • Lucia Hui
  • David K. James
  • Craig Moritz
  • James L. Patton
Original Paper

Abstract

Invasive species can have complex invasion histories, harbor cryptic levels of diversity, and pose taxonomic problems for pest management authorities. Roof rats, Rattus rattus sensu lato, are common invasive pests of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA. They are a significant health risk and pest management efforts impose a large financial investment from public institutions and private individuals. Recent molecular genetic and taxonomic studies of black rats in their native range in Asia have shown that the species is a complex of two karyotypic forms and four mitochondrial genetic lineages that may represent four distinct species. We used mtDNA sequences and nuclear microsatellite variation to identify which mitochondrial lineages of the R. rattus group are present in the San Francisco Bay Area and to test for gene flow among them. We recovered specimens with mtDNA sequences representing two of the major mtDNA lineages of the R. rattus group. Microsatellite variation, however, was not structured in concordance with mtDNA lineages, suggesting a more complex history involving hybridization and introgression between these lineages. Although Aplin et al. (2011) and Lack et al. (2012) reported R. rattus Lineage II in North America, this is the first detailed examination of possible gene flow amongst lineages in this region.

Keywords

Rattus Gene flow Rodent Tanezumi Microsatellite mtDNA 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work benefitted from support from Denise Bonilla of the California Department of Public Health, and fieldwork by Tia Reddick, an intern with the Alameda County Vector Control District. Michael Kosoy (CDC) tested tissues for Bartonella strains, and Robert Lane (UC Berkeley) tested tissues for Borrelia. Cherilyn Acorda conducted some of the early laboratory work. This work was improved by discussions with Steve Donnellan, Ron Van Den Bussche, Hitoshi Suzuki, Jean-François Cosson and others at the first R. rattus consortium meeting in Bangkok in 2010. Thanks to curators and collection managers Joseph Cook and Jon Dunnum (Museum of Southwestern Biology), Larry Heaney, Bruce Patterson and Bill Stanley (Field Museum of Natural History) for access to worldwide samples of Rattus tissues. This work would not have been possible without those loans. Many thanks to Anita Pearson who personally donated many of the rats included here, especially where Lineages I and II are sympatric. Funding for laboratory analyses was kindly provided by the MVZ, and the Alameda County Vector Control District directly funded PK.

Supplementary material

10530_2012_323_MOESM1_ESM.eps (8.3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (EPS 8457 kb) Fig. S1. Plot of number of inferred genetic clusters (K) versus ∆K (the rate of change in the log probability of the data between successive K values) based on the Evanno et al. (2005) method, for (A) within the SF Bay Area and (B) among all populations sample
10530_2012_323_MOESM2_ESM.doc (538 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 538 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris J. Conroy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin C. Rowe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Karen M. C. Rowe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pauline L. Kamath
    • 3
    • 6
  • Ken P. Aplin
    • 4
  • Lucia Hui
    • 5
  • David K. James
    • 5
  • Craig Moritz
    • 1
  • James L. Patton
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Vertebrate ZoologyUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Sciences DepartmentMuseum VictoriaMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Science, Policy and ManagementUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  4. 4.National Museum of Natural History, Division of MammalsSmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA
  5. 5.Alameda County Vector Control Services DistrictAlamedaUSA
  6. 6.Northern Rocky Mountain Science CenterUS Geological SurveyBozemanUSA

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