Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

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Record number 332788
Title Multiple bottlenecks in threatened western European populations of the common hamster Cricetus cricetus (L.)
Author(s) Neumann, K.; Jansman, H.A.H.; Kayser, A.; Maak, S.; Gattermann, R.
Source Conservation Genetics 5 (2004)2. - ISSN 1566-0621 - p. 181 - 193.
Department(s) Centre for Ecosystem Studies
Wageningen Environmental Research
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2004
Keyword(s) mitochondrial-dna - genetics analysis - diversity - microsatellites - groenlandicus - conservation - consequences - variability - divergence - homoplasy
Abstract Common hamsters Cricetus cricetus (L.)show a highly fragmented distributionpattern across Europe. Over the last decades,human influence caused significant populationdeclines in particular at the western rangeboundary. Despite the initiation of breedingand release programs the genetic structure anddiversity of European common hamsterpopulations is largely unknown. In this study,hamsters from ten localities in five Europeancountries were investigated. Mitochondrialcontrol region was sequenced from 145 animalsrepresenting all sampled populations. 385hamster were screened for polymorphisms at 11microsatellite loci. Both marker systemsrevealed extensive genetic differentiationamong European common hamsters. Westernpopulations displayed very low levels of mtDNAdiversity (H = 0 – 0.2, Alsace, Limburg,Flanders, Baden-Wuerttemberg) compared toeastern populations from Saxony-Anhalt,Thuringia and Southern Moravia (H = 0.663– 0.816). Microsatellite analyses revealed asimilar pattern with low to moderate diversityvalues in western hamsters (A = 1.636 –5.364; H e = 0.111 – 0.504) and highlevels of polymorphism in eastern hamsters(A = 8.909 – 9.818; H e = 0.712– 0.786). High microsatellite based F STmeasures (up to 0.635) suggest a typical islandmodel of distribution with no current gene flowbetween most areas. Western hamster populationsexhibit obvious similarities in mitochondrialhaplotype and microsatellite alleledistributions. Gene trees group westernhamsters consistently together on the samebranch but bootstrap values never reachedsignificance. There are strong indications thatlow diversity in western populations ispartially caused by a joint historic founderevent and not only by recent population breakdowns. Overlapping mitochondrial haplotypesprove a close association between westernhamsters and animals from the east German rangein the recent past which does not support theexistence of a separate subspecies C. c.canescens in Europe. Hamsters from southernMoravia emerged as the genetically mostdistinguished population and could be part of a different genetic lineage in Europe.
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