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    01/2013; Regione del Veneto.
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    ABSTRACT: Many cases of introgressive hybridization have been reported among birds, particularly following introduction to the natural environment of individuals belonging to non-native similar taxa. This appears to be the case for common quail (Coturnix coturnix) in France where wild populations artificially come into contact with domesticated Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica) raised for meat and egg production but sometimes released for hunting purposes. In order to highlight the possible existence of gene flows between both taxa, a comparison of nuclear (25 microsatellite loci) and mitochondrial (sequencing and RFLP) DNA polymorphisms was performed on 375 common quails (from France, Spain and Morocco) and 140 Japanese quails (from France and Japan). Genetic diversity was assessed, and analyses (Factorial Correspondence Analysis, Bayesian admixture) of molecular polymorphisms revealed clear differentiation between the two taxa, making it possible to detect for hybrids among quails sampled in the wild. Eight birds expected to be common quail were found to be two pure Japanese quail, one probable backcross to C. japonica, three F1/F2 hybrids, and two probable backcrosses to Coturnix coturnix. These results show that Japanese quails were released and suggest that the two taxa hybridize in the wild. They confirm the urgent need for preventing the release of pure Japanese or hybrid quails to preserve the genetic integrity of C. coturnix. The tools developed for this study should be useful for accurate monitoring of wild quail populations within the framework of avifauna management programs. Keywords Coturnix coturnix - Coturnix japonica -Quail-mtDNA-Microsatellite-Introgressive hybridization
    Conservation Genetics 04/2010; 11(3):1051-1062. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus is a native American lagomorph. Within the genus Sylvilagus, the eastern cottontail is the species with the widest distribution. From 1950s, the species was introduced to several European countries. A rapid territorial expansion of the introduced eastern cottontails has been observed in many areas of Italy. The eastern cottontail has been demonstrated to play a main role as carrier of exotic parasites. To date, three nematode species, exotic in Italian ecosystems, have been reported from introduced S. floridanus. However, its parasite fauna biodiversity is richer in native populations of the American continent. The aim of this work was to further investigate the gastrointestinal parasites of S. floridanus, to evaluate the potential presence of other exotic species. During 2010, 101 hosts were examined, and three nematodes were collected from their digestive tract. Two parasite species (Obeliscoides cuniculi, Trichostrongylus calcaratus) were already reported in Italy; the isolation of Trichostrongylus affinis is instead the first report of this nematode in Italy and in Europe as a whole. This study wants to highlight the great risks related to the introduction of allochthonous species. The impact of the invasion by alien animal species may be particularly severe for public and animal health, due to the potential introduction of new pathogens. The good number of exotic parasites found in introduced eastern cottontails, together with the few sanitary surveys carried out, suggests that an epidemiological survey, with specimens from multiple localities on a wider geographic range, could lead to interesting findings on parasites of native and alien lagomorphs in Europe.
    Parasitology Research 01/2014; · 2.33 Impact Factor

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