Abstracts (first author)
The phylogeography of the common hamster, the species endangered in Europe
The common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L.) is a formerly steppe species, in Europe generally restricted to agricultural sites. The changes in agriculture practice, urbanization of formerly agricultural areas, direct persecution and, most probably, climate change caused the breakdown of populations in many European countries. For any conservation plans, it is essential to gain information about the phylogeographic lineages and their source, refugial populations. In Europe, three phylogeographic lineages were described so far: North in Western Europe and Germany, Pannonia in the Carpathian Basin and E1 lineage in Eastern Poland and Western Ukraine. Paleontological data suggest that the common hamster survived the maximal glaciations in the Ukrainian and European Russian belt of steppes. The aim of this work was to describe the genetic differentiation of the Ukrainian populations, which could serve as a source of westward expansion of hamsters into Central and Western Europe. The phylogeographic analysis was performed on the basis of three sequences of mitochondrial DNA (the control region, 16S rRNA and cytochrome b) and six conserved intron loci located on the Y chromosome (YCATS). The phylogeographic relationships of the analyzed populations will be described on the basis of the gene trees and networks of haplotypes. The levels of diversity will be compared with other described populations.