An electrophoretic investigation of relationships of diploid and tetraploid species of Australian desert frogs Neobatrachus (Anura: Myobatrachidae)

M. Mahony, S.C. Donnellan, Dale Roberts

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Allozyme electrophoresis of 27 loci was used to characterise genetic variation among 29 populations of six diploid species of the myobatrachid frog genus Neobatrachus. All six species are well differentiated genetically with the percentage of fixed differences between species ranging from 11 to 59%. The genetic data are in agreement with the currently accepted species boundaries. The four tetraploid species were examined for 25 of the 27 loci assayed in the diploid species. In contrast to the diploid species, the tetraploid species shared electromorphs with each other at all the loci examined. The tetraploid species were examined for the presence of electromorphs specific to individual diploid species. The majority of these electromorphs were observed in the tetraploid species. For cases in which the range of a tetraploid species contacts that of a diploid species and the diploid population can be characterised by unique electromorphs, then evidence of current gene flow was found in the direction of the tetraploid populations. The data are compatible with single or multiple discrete or hybrid origins of the tetraploids overlain by gene flow among the tetraploids and between the tetraploids and some and perhaps all of the diploids by means of geographically limited but ongoing episodes of introgressive hybridisation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-650
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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