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Unravelling the divergence mechanisms in Tarentola mauritanica geckos: a complex species complex

Ever since the first phylogeographical study on the T. mauritanica, it was recognized that this species was, in fact, a system comprised by several cryptic forms, characterized by extremely high levels of mitochondrial DNA divergence between them and a lack of morphological diversity. Therefore, in this project and using T. mauritanica as a model species, we intend to answer to several questions using morphological characters and molecular markers (nDNA, and mtDNA):
1) Do the five cryptic taxa correspond to distinct species of Tarentola?
2) What is the reason for the shared polymorphism between lineages, incomplete lineage sorting or gene flow?
3) Is gene flow directional or biased by some factor, such as sex?
4) What are the consequences of hybridization on the morphological traits?
5) Which regions of the genome are more permeable, opposite to those that confer the species a barrier for hybridization?

Principal Investigator
Catarina Castela dos Santos Rato

Catarina Castela dos Santos Rato

Position: Post-Doc Researcher
Funded by
Systematics Association (UK)
2013 (Duration: 1 year)
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