The European Union, the Botín Foundation and Banco Santander through Santander Universidades, the Fundación Ramón Areces, and the AXA Foundation. Reference article: The RNA Polymerase II Factor RPAP1 Is Critical for Mediator-Driven Transcription and Cell Identity. Cian J. Lynch, Raquel Bernad, Isabel Calvo, Sandrina Nóbrega-Pereira, Sergio Ruiz, Nuria Ibarz, The Iberian common toad, Bufo spinosus , and the European common toad, Bufo bufo , are the protagonists of a series of studies in which researchers from the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC), in collaboration with researchers from the Natural History Museum from Leiden (Netherlands), try to understand how new species are formed.
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For this, they have analyzed the area where these toads, Senegal Email List very similar to each other despite the fact that they were differentiated 9 million years ago, come into contact and hybridize. The team of researchers has published two studies in the journals Amphibia-Reptilia and Molecular Ecology. In the first, they present a global vision of the area where both species come into contact and hybridize. This hybrid zone covers more than 900 kilometers from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, with a width that varies between 10 and 60 kilometers. “These hybrid zones are like natural laboratories to understand the process of formation of new species or speciation, since the analysis of the variation in the genes, morphology or the ecology of the species in the areas in which they come into contact provides clues about of the evolutionary mechanisms that keep them
separate from the homogenizing effect of hybridization “, explains the MNCN researcher Íñigo Martínez-Solano. In the second article, the researchers have analyzed the variation in the genes and morphology of the two species in a section of the hybrid zone in southeastern France and northwestern Italy. “Our results show a great differentiation in the nuclear genes of both species, which suggests the existence of barriers to hybridization, for example by selection against hybrids, but at the same time we found evidence of exchange of mitochondrial genes between species, as well as a certain morphological homogenization “, continues Martínez-Solano. These discrepancies between the morphological and genetic patterns, as well as the analysis of different genes (nuclear and mitochondrial), may be the result of several factors that are not mutually exclusive: