Molecular genetic characteristics of the allelic variants of microsatellite loci Du281, Du215, and Du323 in parthenogenetic lizards Darevskia rostombekovi (Fam. Lacertidae)
Variation and clonal diversity in populations of the parthenogenetic rock lizard Darevskia rostombekovi was examined by means of multilocus DNA fingerprinting using mini- and microsatellite DNA markers M13, (GATA)4, and (TCC)50). The animals examined were shown to exhibit a clonally inherited, species-specific pattern of DNA markers (fingerprint profile) that is different from the species-specific patterns of parthenogenetic species D. dahli, D. armenica, and D. unisexualis. The mean intraspecific similarity indexS was 0.950 (0.003) for a sample of 19 animals from three isolated populations of North Armenia. This significantly differed from the estimate of this parameter for a sample of 21 animals including two individuals from mountainous, relict population from the vicinity of the Sevan Lake, which was equal to 0.875 (0.001). A comparison of DNA fingerprints showed differences between 21 individuals attaining 79 DNA fragments of 1801 mini- and microsatellite markers included in the analysis. The results obtained show that intraspecific variation in D. rostombekovi is higher than that in the previously studied parthenogenetic species D. dahli (S = 0.962) andD. unisexualis (S= 0.950) (P< 0.001). Taking into account that D. rostombekovi is considered monoclonal on the basis of allozyme data, the problem of clonal variability is discussed with regard to the evidence on nuclear DNA markers. It is suggested that the hybrid karyotype of D. rostombekovi, which is more unstable than that of D. dahli and D. unisexualis, generates a series of chromosomal rearrangements (mutations). This may lead to the appearance of a geographically isolated chromosomal race (clone) in the population inhabiting the southeastern coast of the Sevan Lake.