A Comparison of Genetic Differentiation in European Populations of Phratora vitellinae Linne (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)
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In this population study of the Chrysomelid leaf beetle, Phratora vitellinae, specimens from five regions throughout Europe are examined. Four of the five regions are relatively flat topographically, while the fifth is located in the Swiss Alps. In order to assess gene flow a comparison is made of allelic frequencies of polymorphic enzymes of beetles from montane and flatland regions as well as from northern and southern latitudes. Starch gel electrophoresis was used to compare polymorphic enzyme frequency at three loci (pgi-1, 6pgd-1, and tpi-1). The results show all flatland collecting sites to be more similar to each other, regardless of latitude, than they are to the montane (Swiss Alps) region. Further, the montane region is more highly differentiated than any other region. Thus the mountains appear to be a factor effecting genetic drift and gene flow. The overall low differentiation found in this species for the loci examined suggests greater mobility in the present, or migration in the past than was previously thought for this species.