Hybridization effects and genetic diversity of the common and black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix jacchus and Callithrix penicillata) mitochondrial control region

Joanna Malukiewicz, Vanner Boere, Lisieux F. Fuzessy, Adriana D. Grativol, Jeffrey A. French, Ita De Oliveira E Silva, Luiz C.M. Pereira, Carlos R. Ruiz-Miranda, Yuri M. Valença, Anne C. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Hybridization is continually documented in primates, but effects of natural and anthropogenic hybridization on biodiversity are still unclear and differentiating between these contexts remains challenging in regards to primate evolution and conservation. Here, we examine hybridization effects on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region of Callithrix marmosets, which provide a unique glimpse into interspecific mating under distinct anthropogenic and natural conditions. DNA was sampled from 40 marmosets along a 50-km transect from a previously uncharacterized hybrid zone in NE Brazil between the ranges of Callithrix jacchus and Callithrix penicillata. DNA was also collected from 46 marmosets along a 30-km transect in a hybrid zone in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, where exotic marmosets appeared in the 1980s. Combining Callithrix DNA sampled inside and outside of these hybrid zones, phylogenetic and network analyses show C. jacchus and C. penicillata being parental species to sampled hybrids. We expand limited Callithrix population genetics work by describing mtDNA diversity and demographic history of these parental species. We show ancient population expansion in C. jacchus and historically constant population size in C. penicillata, with the latter being more genetically diverse than the former. The natural hybrid zone contained higher genetic diversity relative to the anthropogenic zone. While our data suggest hybrid swarm formation within the anthropogenic zone due to removed physical reproductive barriers, this pattern is not seen in the natural hybrid zone. These results suggest different genetic dynamics within natural and anthropogenic hybridization contexts that carry important implications for primate evolution and conservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)522-536
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • New World primates
  • evolution
  • hybridization
  • phylogenetics
  • population genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology


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