Genetic Characterization of Captive Cuban Crocodiles (Crocodylus rhombifer) and Evidence of Hybridization with the American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus)

Jeremy P Weaver, David A Rodiguez, Miryam D Venegas-de Anaya, J R Cedeno-Vasquez, Michael R. J. Forstner, Llewellyn Densmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is a surprising lack of genetic data for the Cuban crocodile (Crocodylus rhombifer), especially given its status as a critically endangered species. Samples from captive individuals were used to genetically characterize this species in comparison with other New World crocodilians. Partial mitochondrial sequence data were generated from cyt-b (843 bp) and the tRNAPro- tRNAPhe-D-loop region (442 bp). Phylogenetic analyses were performed by generating maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian-based topologies. In addition, in an effort to identify species-specific alleles, ten polymorphic microsatellite loci were genotyped. Distance and model-based clustering analyses were performed on microsatellite data, in addition to a model-based assignment of hybrid types. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers identified two distinct C. rhombifer genetic sub-clades (a and b); and microsatellite analyses revealed that most admixed individuals were F2 hybrids between C. rhombifer-a a
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-660
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology /Wiley-Blackwell
StatePublished - Dec 2008

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