Genetic differentiation of populations of Greenlandic Arctic fox

Article English OPEN
Meinke, Pia G. ; M. O. Kapel, Christian ; Arctander, Peter (2001)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Polar Research (issn: 1751-8369, eissn: 1751-8369)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/polar.v20i1.6501
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: geographic locations

Most microsatellites are very polymorphic. This makes them powerful markers for observing genetic differentiation between closely related populations. The population structure of the Greenlandic Arctic fox (Alopex lagopus) was studied genetically by analysing six polymorphic microsatellite loci of 75 foxes from four populations in different parts of Greenland. Genotypes were determined at the six loci for most of the individuals. Population differentiation was quantified in three different ways both within the total population and pairwise between all populations. The tests were Fisher's exact test, Rho estimates and Fst estimates, all of which supported a highly significant subdivision of the total population, and they showed significant differentiation in allele frequencies between all pairs of localities. It is concluded that the known long-distance migration of the Greenlandic Arctic fox has not resulted in complete genetic mixing of the populations. Fisher's exact test was also used to estimate levels of genetic differentiation between the two colour morphs: white and blue. No difference was found between allele frequencies of the two color morphs in any of the locations, and it was concluded that the white and blue morphs of the Greenlandic Arctic fox share the same habitat, at least during the mating season.
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