Article: article from journal or magazin.
Breeding system and genetic variance in the monogamous, semi-social shrew, Crocidura russula
The population-genetic consequences of monogamy and male philopatry (a rare breeding system in mammals) were investigated using microsatellite markers in the semisocial and anthropophilic shrew Crocidura russula. A hierarchical sampling design over a 16-km geographical transect revealed a large genetic diversity (h = 0.813) with significant differentiation among subpopulations (F-ST = 5-6%), which suggests an exchange of 4.4 migrants per generation. Demic effective-size estimates were very high, due both to this limited gene inflow and to the inner structure of subpopulations. These were made of 13-20 smaller units (breeding groups), comprising an estimate of four breeding pairs each. Members of the same breeding groups displayed significant coancestries (F-LS = 9-10%), which was essentially due to strong male kinship: syntopic males were on average related at the half-sib level. Female dispersal among breeding groups was not complete (similar to 39%), and insufficient to prevent inbreeding. From our results, the breeding strategy of C. russula seems less efficient than classical mammalian systems (polygyny and male dispersal) in disentangling coancestry from inbreeding, but more so in retaining genetic variance.
breeding systems, Crocidura russula, dispersal, genetic structure, microsatellites, shrews
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