DNA evidence for the hybridization of wild turtles in Taiwan : possible genetic pollution from trade animals
Mauremys mutica, Mauremys sinensis, Mauremys reevesii, Asian turtle crisis, Introduced species, Conservation
Field surveys in Taiwan have uncovered turtles presumed to be hybrids based on their intermediate morphology. We sequenced a mitochondrial (ND4) and nuclear (R35) gene of two putative hybrid individuals, along with representatives of the potential parental species (Mauremys mutica, M. reevesii, M. sinensis), to determine their genetic identity. Based on our data, both individuals are hybrids, with independent, recent origins resulting from the mating of a female M. reevesii and a male M. sinensis. Since we question whether the highly traded M. reevesii is endemic to Taiwan, this hybridization could represent human-mediated genetic pollution. We also discuss the implications of our findings on turtle conservation in Taiwan.
This work was made possible through funding from the National Science Foundation, EAPSI summer fellowship (JJF), the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley (JJF), and the Chelonian Research Foundation’s Linnaeus Fund (JJF).
Copyright © The Author(s) 2010. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Fong, J. J. & Chen, T.-H. (2010). DNA evidence for the hybridization of wild turtles in Taiwan: Possible genetic pollution from trade animals. Conservation Genetics, 11(5), 2061–2066. doi:10.1007/s10592-010-0066-z