Sunday, April 26, 2009

And we got another journal cover….introducing the lizard Podarcis gaigeae

Isolation and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite loci for the Skyros wall lizard Podarcis gaigeae (Squamata: Lacertidae)


This paper got published in the April 2009 issue of the fine journal Molecular Ecology Resources. My co-authors and I have developed fifteen new microsatellite markers for Anna’s PhD study species Podarcis gaigaea, the Skyros Wall lizard. Anna is studying mainland and island populations of Podarcis gaigeae near the Skyros Peninsula in Greece, and one of her objectives is to estimate the rate of gene flow and genetic differentiation between populations. Previous molecular work using eleven microsatellites showed that although the eleven markers were able to distinguish between different island populations, they did not provide the necessary power to distinguish between the mainland populations. Therefore, we set out to develop additional novel polymorphic microsatellite markers for P. gaigeae in an attempt to resolve the population structure of the mainland populations, and to estimate in more detail the magnitude and direction of gene flow between mainland and island populations of this species. Preliminary analyses in STRUCTURE have shown that, with the help of these new microsatellites, Anna can now distinguish between mainland populations.


Fifteen polymorphic markers were developed from a microsatellite-enriched library for the lizard Podarcis gaigeae. The loci were checked for variability in 68 individuals from a population on the island of Skyros, Greece. The number of alleles ranged from 3 to 23 per locus and expected heterozygosity from 0.29 and 0.94. Most markers were also polymorphic in three closely related Podarcis species, namely P. erhardi, P. taurica and P. milensis. The markers will be used to examine gene flow and differentiation of island and mainland populations of P. gaigeae.

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