Distinctive mitogenomic lineages within populations of White-tailed Eagles

Charles Christian Riis Hansen*, Sina Baleka, Sólveig Magnea Guðjónsdóttir, Jacob Agerbo Rasmussen, Jesus Adrian Chimal Ballesteros, Gunnar Thor Hallgrimsson, Robert A. Stefansson, Menja von Schmalensee, Kristinn Haukur Skarphédinsson, Aili Lage Labansen, Madis Leivits, Kim Skelmose, Christian Sonne, Rune Dietz, David Martin Boertmann, Igor Eulaers, Michael D. Martin, Snaebjorn Palsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Using whole mitochondrial DNA sequences from 89 White-tailed Eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) sampled from Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Denmark and Estonia between 1990 and 2018, we investigate the mitogenomic variation within and between countries. We show that there is a substantial population differentiation between the countries, reflecting similar major phylogeographic patterns obtained previously for the control region of the mitochondria, which suggested two main refugia during the last glacial period. Distinct mitogenomic lineages are observed within countries with divergence times exceeding the end of the last glacial period of the Ice Age. Deviations from neutrality indicate that these lineages have been maintained by natural selection and there is an excess of segregating amino acids in comparison with number of fixations suggesting a large load of deleterious mutations. The maintenance of the distinct mitogenic lineages within countries inflates our estimates of divergence times.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberukab081
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2021


  • Haliaeetus albicilla temps de divergence
  • White-tailed Eagle
  • conservation
  • divergence time
  • phylogeography
  • phylogéographie
  • selection
  • sélection


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