Example of an ecotype

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanNov 16, 2006 4:34 PM


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From here: "Cronin et al. (1991) then discovered that mtDNA of brown bears is paraphyletic with respect to polar bears. That is, the mtDNA of brown bears of the Alexander Archipelago in southeastern Alaska is more closely related to the mtDNA of polar bears than it is to the mtDNA of other brown bears. Cronin et al. (1991) reported that mtDNA sequence divergence between Alexander Archipelago brown bears and polar bears is only about 1%, whereas a divergence of about 2.6% separates polar bears from brown bears occurring elsewhere...Following the discovery of Cronin et al. (1991), others corroborated the finding of paraphyletic mtDNA in brown bears and polar bears. Talbot and Shields (1996a, 1996b) suggested that the Alexander Archipelago brown bears represent descendents of ancestral stock that gave rise to polar bears." Caution!!! Caution!!! Appropriate consideration given to the overuse of mtDNA in phylogeography, etc. The idea is that marker phylogeny has in general reflected our gestalt perception of taxonomical relationships, but there's a reason that people test the hypotheses.

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