Mammalian Biology

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 140–148 | Cite as

Hybridization between the European and Asian badgers (Meles, Carnivora) in the Volga-Kama region, revealed by analyses of maternally, paternally and biparentally inherited genes

  • Emi Kinoshita
  • Alexei V. Abramov
  • Vyacheslav A. Soloviev
  • Alexander P. Saveljev
  • Yoshinori Nishita
  • Yayoi Kaneko
  • Ryuichi MasudaEmail author
Original investigation


Two closely related species of Meles (Carnivora), the European badger (M. meles) and the Asian badger (M. leucurus), are distributed allopatrically in continental Eurasia but show a narrow contact zone around the Volga and Kama Rivers, Russia. We analyzed maternally (mitochondrial DNA), paternally (SRY gene and CAN-SINEs on the Y chromosome), and biparentally (CFTR gene and nine microsatellite loci) inherited genes for evidence of hybridization between the two species in the contact zone. Of 71 badgers examined, we identified 17 individuals as hybrids with mixed genotypes for the first time. Some hybrids appeared to have resulted from repeated backcrossing with the parental species. In addition, the hybridization was symmetric between the two species. Compared with previous palaeontological data, the hybridization between the two species could have resulted from secondary contact due to western expansion in distribution by the Asian badgers.


Hybrid Meles leucurus Meles meles Microsatellite Volga-Kama region 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emi Kinoshita
    • 1
  • Alexei V. Abramov
    • 2
  • Vyacheslav A. Soloviev
    • 3
  • Alexander P. Saveljev
    • 3
  • Yoshinori Nishita
    • 1
    • 4
  • Yayoi Kaneko
    • 5
  • Ryuichi Masuda
    • 1
    • 4
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Natural History Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  2. 2.Zoological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesSaint-PetersburgRussia
  3. 3.Russian Research Institute of Game Management and Fur FarmingKirovRussia
  4. 4.Department ofBiological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  5. 5.Institute of AgricultureTokyo University of Agriculture and TechnologyTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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