Geographic isolation is among the most important factors initiating speciation in mammals. The narrow-headed vole Lasiopodomys gregalis is a widely distributed species in steppe habitats of South Siberia that are highly fragmented by mountain ranges. There are three major mostly allopatric mitochondrial lineages of L. gregalis described throughout the distribution range that most plausibly split in the Middle Pleistocene. This study applies the analysis of five microsatellite loci and species distribution modelling to understand the patterns of isolation and migration between L. gregalis populations in South Siberia and in particular in Tuva basin where all three lineages occur simultaneously. Microsatellite analysis supported the population differentiation revealed previously, with three clusters corresponding to mitochondrial lineages and indicated that gene flow between them is strongly limited. There were only traces of hybridisation in the population near the contact zone of lineages B and C. SDM analysis predicted only a small number of potential contact zones between L. gregalis lineages and barriers corresponding to landscape heterogeneity. We presume that the forested mountain ranges act as the main insurmountable barriers to gene flow between major genetic lineages of L. gregalis.
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We are grateful to A.V. Abramov, V.V. Platonov and L.L. Voyta (ZIN RAS, St-Petersburg); A.V. Surov, I.G. Meschersky and N.Y. Feoktistova (IPEE RAS, Moscow); and N.I. Putintsev (State nature reserve ‘Ubsunurskaya kotlovina’, Kyzyl) for providing us with tissue samples used in this study and A.N. Kuksin (State nature reserve ‘Ubsunurskaya kotlovina’, Kyzyl) for his help in organizing field work. We also thank S.V. Kruskop and V.S. Lebedev (ZMMU MSU, Moscow) for their help in working with the collection. We thank the Core Facility Centre for Molecular and Cell Technologies (St.Petersburg State University, Saint Petersburg, Russia) for implementing the capillary electrophoresis of microsatellite PCR products. We thank S.Y. Bodrov and O.V. Bondareva for their productive discussion, anonymous reviewers for their helpful and critical comments and P. Tomlin for correcting the final version of the manuscript. This study was conducted under the research theme N AAAA-A19-119020790106-0 and financially supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 18-34-20118 mol_a_ved (for TVP and EAG). Investigation of spatial relationships of lineages was supported by the Russian Science Foundation (grant number 18-14-00093) (for AAL). The language was edited by Proof reading service https://www.proof-reading-service.com/en/.
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Petrova, T.V., Genelt-Yanovskiy, E.A., Lissovsky, A.A. et al. Signatures of genetic isolation of the three lineages of the narrow-headed vole Lasiopodomys gregalis (Cricetidae, Rodentia) in a mosaic steppe landscape of South Siberia. Mamm Biol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42991-020-00099-7
- Landscape genetics
- Ecological niche modelling
- Isolation by resistance
- Narrow-headed vole
- Lasiopodomys gregalis