Genetic Divergence of the Species of the Yellow Wagtails Group (Passeriformes, Motacillidae) in European Territory of Russia

E. A. Artemieva 1 , A. V. Mishchenko 1 ,  and D. K. Makarov 1
  • 1 Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University of I. N. Ulyanov, 100-letiya of V. I. Lenin birth sq., 4, Ulyanovsk, RUS-432700 Russia


Phenotypic and genotypic diversity of populations of species of the yellow wagtails in the space of their ranges in a wide sympatry reflects the mechanisms of reproductive isolation of species and forms of subspecies rank and features of microevolution group - polytypic complex Motacilla flava Linnaeus, 1758. The distribution of species of the yellow wagtails in the European part of Russia is sympatric. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether sympatric settlement led to any genetic separation between the populations of these species. 20 blood samples and 2 samples of eggs collected in areas geographically representing the MID and the southern Russian breeding populations of these species, including all juvenile ringed in 2012, were used. After the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 4 types of the yellow wagtails group Motacilla flava L., 1758; M. feldegg Michahelles, 1830; M. lutea (S. G. Gmelin, 1774); M. cilreola Pallas, 1776 (Passeriformes, Motacillidae) were sequenced. After aligning the sequences of the gene cytochrome oxidase I, based on the comparison of genetic distances between these species phylogenetic tree of genus Motacilla was constructed. These results suggest that, despite the broad sympatry in nesting places, there is a selective mating between males and females of each species studied in spite of the free crossing and insulating mechanisms in populations.

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