Chromosomal rearrangements are proposed to promote genetic differentiation between chromosomally differentiated taxa and therefore promote speciation. Due to their remarkable karyotypic polymorphism, the shrews of the Sorex araneus group were used to investigate the impact of chromosomal rearrangements on gene flow. Five intraspecific chromosomal hybrid zones characterized by different levels of karyotypic complexity were studied using 16 microsatellites markers. We observed low levels of genetic differentiation even in the hybrid zones with the highest karyotypic complexity. No evidence of restricted gene flow between differently rearranged chromosomes was observed. Contrary to what was observed at the interspecific level, the effect of chromosomal rearrangements on gene flow was undetectable within the S. araneus species.
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.