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Strong correlation between cross-amplification success and genetic distance across all members of ‘True Salamanders’ (Amphibia: Salamandridae) revealed by Salamandra salamandra-specific microsatellite loci

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Hauswaldt,  Susanne
Department Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Hendrix, R., Hauswaldt, S., Veith, M., & Steinfartz, S. (2010). Strong correlation between cross-amplification success and genetic distance across all members of ‘True Salamanders’ (Amphibia: Salamandridae) revealed by Salamandra salamandra-specific microsatellite loci. Molecular Ecology Resources, 10(6), 1038-1047. doi:10.1111/j.1755-0998.2010.02861.x.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D447-F
Abstract
The unpredictable and low cross-amplification success of microsatellite loci tested for congeneric amphibian species has mainly been explained by the size and complexity of amphibian genomes, but also by taxonomy that is inconsistent with phylogenetic relationships among taxa. Here, we tested whether the cross-amplification success of nine new and 11 published microsatellite loci cloned for an amphibian source species, the fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), correlated with the genetic distance across all members of True Salamanders (genera Chioglossa, Lyciasalamandra, Mertensiella and Salamandra that form a monophyletic clade within the family of Salamandridae) serving as target species. Cross-amplification success varied strongly among the species and showed a highly significant negative relationship with genetic distance and amplification success. Even though lineages of S. salamandra and Lyciasalamndra have separated more than 30 Ma, a within genus amplification success rate of 65% was achieved for species of Lyciasalamandra thus demonstrating that an efficient cross-species amplification of microsatellite loci in amphibians is feasible even across large evolutionary distances. A decrease in genome size, on the other hand, paralleled also a decrease in amplified loci and therefore contradicted previous results and expectations that amplification success should increase with a decrease in genome size. However, in line with other studies, our comprehensive dataset clearly shows that cross-amplification success of microsatellite loci is well explained by phylogenetic divergence between species. As taxonomic classifications on the species and genus level do not necessarily mirror phylogenetic divergence between species, the pure belonging of species to the same taxonomic units (i.e. species or genus) might be less useful to predict cross-amplification success of microsatellite loci between such species.