Article: article from journal or magazin.
Estimating gene flow across hybrid zones: how reliable are microsatellites?
Due to their high polymorphism, microsatellites have become one of the most valued genetic markers in population biology. We review the first two published studies on hybrid zones of the common shrew based on microsatellites. Both reveal surprisingly high interracial gene flow. It can be shown that these are overestimates. Indeed, in classical population genetics models as F-statistics, mutation is neglected. This constitutes an acceptable assumption as long as migration is higher than mutation. However, in hybrid zones where genetic exchanges can be rare, neglecting mutation will lead to strong overestimates of migration when working with microsatellites which display mutation rates up to 10(-3). As there seems to be no straightforward way to correct for this bias, interracial gene flow estimates based on microsatellites should be taken with caution. This problem should however not conceal the enormous potential of microsatellites to unravel the genetics of hybrid zones.
Sorex araneus, mutation rate, population structure, gene exchange, contact zones
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