A Suite of Molecular Markers for Identifying Species, Detecting Introgression and Describing Population Structure in Spadefoot Toads (Spea Spp.)

Mol Ecol Resour. 2012 Sep;12(5):909-17. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-0998.2012.03150.x. Epub 2012 May 7.


Two congeneric species of spadefoot toad, Spea multiplicata and Spea bombifrons, have been the focus of hybridization studies since the 1970s. Because complex hybrids are not readily distinguished phenotypically, genetic markers are needed to identify introgressed individuals. We therefore developed a set of molecular markers (amplified fragment length polymorphism, polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and single nucleotide polymorphism) for identifying pure-species, F1 hybrids and more complex introgressed types. To do so, we tested a series of markers across both species and known hybrids using populations in both allopatry and sympatry. We retained those markers that differentiated the two pure-species and also consistently identified known species hybrids. These markers are well suited for identifying hybrids between these species. Moreover, those markers that show variation within each species can be used in conjunction with existing molecular markers in studies of population structure and gene flow.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism Analysis / methods
  • Animals
  • Anura / classification*
  • Anura / genetics*
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetics, Population / methods*
  • Hybridization, Genetic*
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Typing / methods*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Genetic Markers

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JQ707909
  • GENBANK/JQ707910
  • GENBANK/JQ707911
  • GENBANK/JQ707912
  • GENBANK/JQ707913
  • GENBANK/JQ707914
  • GENBANK/JQ707915
  • GENBANK/JQ707916
  • GENBANK/JQ707917
  • GENBANK/JQ707918
  • GENBANK/JQ707919
  • GENBANK/JQ707920
  • GENBANK/JQ707921
  • GENBANK/JQ707922
  • GENBANK/JQ707923
  • GENBANK/JQ707924
  • GENBANK/JQ707925
  • GENBANK/JQ707926
  • GENBANK/JQ707927
  • GENBANK/JQ707928
  • GENBANK/JQ707929
  • GENBANK/JQ707930
  • GENBANK/JQ707931
  • GENBANK/JQ707932