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      Genetic evidence for male-biased dispersal in the Qinghai toad-headed agamid Phrynocephalus vlangalii and its potential link to individual social interactions

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          Sex-biased dispersal has profound impacts on a species' biology and several factors have been attributed to its evolution, including mating system, inbreeding avoidance, and social complexity. Sex-biased dispersal and its potential link to individual social interactions were examined in the Qinghai toad-headed agamid ( Phrynocephalus vlangalii). We first determined the pattern of sex-biased dispersal using population genetic methods. A total of 345 specimens from 32 sites in the Qaidam Basin were collected and genotyped for nine microsatellite DNA loci. Both individual-based assignment tests and allele frequency-based analyses were conducted. Females revealed much more genetic structure than males and all results were consistent with male-biased dispersal. First-generation migrants were also identified by genetic data. We then examined eight social interaction-related morphological traits and explored their potential link to sex-biased dispersal. Female residents had larger heads and longer tails than female migrants. The well-developed signal system among females, coupled with viviparity, might make remaining on natal sites beneficial, and hence promote female philopatry. Dominant females with larger heads were more likely to stay. Contrary to females, male migrants had larger heads and belly patches than residents, suggesting that dispersal might confer selective advantages for males. Such advantages may include opportunities for multiple mating and escaping from crowded sites. Large belly patches and several other morphological traits may assist their success in obtaining mates during dispersal. Furthermore, a relatively high relatedness ( R = 0.06) among females suggested that this species might have rudimentary social structure. Case studies in “less” social species may provide important evidence for a better understanding of sex-biased dispersal.

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          Detecting the number of clusters of individuals using the software structure: a simulation study

          The identification of genetically homogeneous groups of individuals is a long standing issue in population genetics. A recent Bayesian algorithm implemented in the software STRUCTURE allows the identification of such groups. However, the ability of this algorithm to detect the true number of clusters (K) in a sample of individuals when patterns of dispersal among populations are not homogeneous has not been tested. The goal of this study is to carry out such tests, using various dispersal scenarios from data generated with an individual-based model. We found that in most cases the estimated 'log probability of data' does not provide a correct estimation of the number of clusters, K. However, using an ad hoc statistic DeltaK based on the rate of change in the log probability of data between successive K values, we found that STRUCTURE accurately detects the uppermost hierarchical level of structure for the scenarios we tested. As might be expected, the results are sensitive to the type of genetic marker used (AFLP vs. microsatellite), the number of loci scored, the number of populations sampled, and the number of individuals typed in each sample.
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            Inference of population structure using multilocus genotype data.

            We describe a model-based clustering method for using multilocus genotype data to infer population structure and assign individuals to populations. We assume a model in which there are K populations (where K may be unknown), each of which is characterized by a set of allele frequencies at each locus. Individuals in the sample are assigned (probabilistically) to populations, or jointly to two or more populations if their genotypes indicate that they are admixed. Our model does not assume a particular mutation process, and it can be applied to most of the commonly used genetic markers, provided that they are not closely linked. Applications of our method include demonstrating the presence of population structure, assigning individuals to populations, studying hybrid zones, and identifying migrants and admixed individuals. We show that the method can produce highly accurate assignments using modest numbers of loci-e.g. , seven microsatellite loci in an example using genotype data from an endangered bird species. The software used for this article is available from approximately pritch/home. html.
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              genepop'007: a complete re-implementation of the genepop software for Windows and Linux.

              This note summarizes developments of the genepop software since its first description in 1995, and in particular those new to version 4.0: an extended input format, several estimators of neighbourhood size under isolation by distance, new estimators and confidence intervals for null allele frequency, and less important extensions to previous options. genepop now runs under Linux as well as under Windows, and can be entirely controlled by batch calls. © 2007 The Author.

                Author and article information

                Ecol Evol
                Ecol Evol
                Ecology and Evolution
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd
                May 2013
                20 March 2013
                : 3
                : 5
                : 1219-1230
                [1 ]Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences Chengdu, Sichuan, 610041, China
                [2 ]Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1, Canada
                Author notes
                Yin Qi, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041, China. Tel: (86)-134-3849-6655; Fax: (86)-028-85222753; Email: qiyin@

                Funding Information This work was supported by the West Light project (Y2C3041) and the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y1C2021203), the Talent Reward program of the Sichuan provincial government (Y1D3011), and NSERC (Canada).

                © 2013 Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

                Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

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