Population structure and gene flow of the syntopic turtles Emys and Mauremys from coastal and inland regions of Anatolia (Turkey): results from mitochondrial and microsatellite data

Ilhan S., Vamberger M., AYAZ D. , Fritz U.

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY REPORTS, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11033-021-06429-3


Revealing the genetic basis of the existence of different species living together in different geographic regions provides clarification of this phylogeographic differentiation. In this study, we investigated the population genetics and evaluated the level of genetic variation of inland and coastal populations of Mauremys and Emys in Turkey. Tissue samples of 196 terrapins were studied which were collected from syntopic coastal (Golbent-Soke/Aydin; M. rivulata and E. orbicularis) and inland populations (Bahcesaray/Aksaray; M. caspica and E. orbicularis). DNA was isolated using the InnuPREP DNA Mini Kit. Mitochondrial DNA sequences and allelic variation at 13 microsatellite loci for Mauremys and 12 microsatellite loci for Emys were examined. Three haplotypes were found for Emys orbicularis (Im, Ip and Iw) collected from the coastal region and two haplotypes for Emys orbicularis (Ig and Im) collected from inland. Two haplotypes were identified for M. caspica (Cmt8 and Cmt9) and three haplotypes were identified for M. rivulata (Rmt3, Rmt24 and Rmt26). Using microsatellites and the software STRUCTURE the most probable value for K was revealed as two 2 for both species. The F-ST value between M. rivulata and M. caspica was 0.39, and between the coastal and inland populations of E. orbicularis 0.09. It can be concluded that Emys populations tend to evolve by somehow preserving the allelic richness they have and Mauremys populations continue to differentiate so that new species emerge in the evolutionary process to reach the ideal allelic structure.