Molecular phylogeny of the speciose vole genus Microtus (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.
The results of interspecific crosses of the social vole Microtus socialis with the Altai vole M. obscurus, the East European vole M. rossiaemeridionalis, and the Transcaspian vole M. transcaspicus are presented. The role of the sperm head structure in the reproductive isolation of this species was studied. Hybrids were obtained in five of the six crossing combinations. It is established that significant differences in the sperm head shape in the social vole and in arvalis group species do not prevent fertilization. The sterility of hybrids indicates the existence of postcopulative mechanisms of reproductive isolation.