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Mol Ecol October 1, 2011; 20 (20): 4216-30.
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The Rift Valley is a major barrier to dispersal of African clawed frogs (Xenopus) in Ethiopia.

Evans BJ , Bliss SM , Mendel SA , Tinsley RC .

The Ethiopian highlands - home to striking species diversity and endemism - are bisected by the Rift Valley, a zone of tectonic divergence. Using molecular data we examined the evolutionary history of two co-distributed species of African clawed frog (Xenopus clivii and X. largeni) that are endemic to this region. Our field collections substantially extend the known distribution of X. largeni, a species formerly known from highlands southeast of the Rift, but that also occurs to the northwest. In both species, analysis of mitochondrial DNA and 19 autosomal loci identifies significant population structure, suggests little or no recent migration across the Rift Valley, and provides divergence time estimates across the Rift of ∼1-3.5 million years. These results indicate that the Ethiopian Rift Valley is a major obstacle to dispersal of highland-adapted amphibians.

PubMed ID: 21933293
Article link: Mol Ecol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: akap12 ar bcl9 btbd6 c7orf25 dnajc6 efcab5 fem1c kcnd3 med26 mfsd4b mogs nrip1 pgap4 prmt6 rag2 velo1 zbed4 znf238.2 znf71

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