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Re: mtDNA - problems . . .


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Posted by Langaha on December 10, 2002 at 18:16:31:

In Reply to: mtDNA - problems . . . posted by troy h on December 10, 2002 at 12:09:49:

:1) since mtDNA is matrilineal (i.e. its all inherited from your mother), use mtDNA underestimates gene flow. as you know, females of most species are more sedentary than males (of herps in particular) - most females grow up and live their lives in a relatively small home range. its males that get up and move around - much of animal dispersal and therefore gene flow is due to movement of young males away from their birthplace.

:perhaps it would be nice if Rick Staub or someone else working with mtDNA data sets would get on here and contribute to this discussion . . . but for now, i'd like to point out a few limitations of mtDNA analyses . . .

You build it we will come. All that you stated Troy is true, but there are a lot more advantages/disadvantages to state than I have time for today. Hopefully someone else will stop by your ballfield. Your #1 above is especially true, and this is what many of us have the biggest problem with.

For example, Bowen et al. demonstrated maternal homing in sea turtles using mtDNA. Females exibit high population structure as they come back to the exact beach on which they were born to nest. Thus, one using the Evolutionary Species Concept could (and would) argue that each beach has a distinct species. However, we also know that male sea turtles have no beach preference during the mating season, thus their genes are scattered but will not be illustrated using mtDNA. So would you consider each beach's population to represent a distinct species? Perhaps I wasn't aware that sea turtles are parthenogenetic, don't males count?

Langaha



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