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Back to the Suture: The Distribution of Intraspecific Genetic Diversity in and Around Anatolia

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Author(s): Rasit Bilgin

Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN 1422-0067

Volume: 12;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 4080;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: biogeography | glacial refugia | ice age | phylogeography | pleistocene | suture zone

ABSTRACT
The effect of ice ages in speciation and diversification is well established in the literature. In Europe, the Iberian, the Italian and the Balkan peninsulas comprise the main glacial refugia, where the subsequent re-population of Europe started. Though not studied as extensively, Anatolia has also been hinted to be a potential glacial refugium for Europe, and with its proximity to the Caucasus and the Middle East at the same time, has potential to exhibit high levels of intraspecific diversity. The more ubiquitous use and cheaper availability of molecular methods globally now makes it possible to better understand molecular ecology and evolution of the fauna and flora in the genetically understudied regions of the world, such as Anatolia. In this review, the molecular genetic studies undertaken in Anatolia in the last decade, for 29 species of plants and animals, are examined to determine general phylogeographic patterns. In this regard, two major patterns are observed and defined, showing genetic breaks within Anatolia and between Anatolia and the Balkans. A third pattern is also outlined, which suggests Anatolia may be a center of diversity for the surrounding regions. The patterns observed are discussed in terms of their relevance to the location of suture zones, postglacial expansion scenarios, the effect of geographic barriers to gene flow and divergence time estimates, in order to better understand the effect of the geological history of Anatolia on the evolutionary history of the inhabitant species. In view of the current state of knowledge delineated in the review, future research directions are suggested.

Tango Jona
Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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