Spatio-temporal variation in the structure of a chromosomal polymorphism zone in the house mouse

N. Medarde, M. J. López-Fuster, F. Mũoz-Mũoz, J. Ventura

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Several long-term temporal analyses of the structure of Robertsonian (Rb) hybrid zones in the western house mouse, Mus musculus domesticus, have been performed. Nevertheless, the detection of gradual or very rapid variations in a zone may be overlooked when the time elapsed between periods of study is too long. The Barcelona chromosomal polymorphism zone of the house mouse covers about 5000, km 2 around the city of Barcelona and is surrounded by 40 chromosome telocentric populations. Seven different metacentrics and mice with diploid numbers between 27 and 40 chromosomes and several fusions in heterozygous state (from one to seven) have been reported. We compare the present (period 2008-2010) and past (period 1996-2000) structure of this zone before examining its dynamics in more detail. Results indicate that there is not a Rb race in this area, which is consistent with the proposal that this zone was probably originated in situ, under a primary intergradation scenario. The lack of individuals with more than five metacentrics in heterozygous state in the current period suggests that selection acted against such mice. By contrast, this situation did not occur for mice with fewer than five fusions in heterozygous condition. Changes in human activity may affect the dynamics of gene flow between subpopulations, thus altering the chromosomal composition of certain sites. Although these local variations may have modified the clinal trend for certain metacentrics, the general staggered structure of the zone has not varied significantly in a decade. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-89
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012


  • Chromosomal polymorphism zone
  • Mus musculus domesticus
  • Robertsonian (Rb) fusion
  • gene flow
  • spatio-temporal analysis


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