Role of Phylogenetic Relations and Conditions of Habitat of Lizards of «Lacerta saxicola» Complex in Formation of the Heat Resistance Level of Tissue as Specific Character

V. B. Andronikov, F. D. Danielyan, R. A. Pasynkova


The extent of resistance of animal cells and tissues to injurious heat effect is a cytophysiological criterion of species. In poikilotherms it can be determined both by phylogenetic relations and ecological conditions of a species’ formation and existence. To analyze the relative role of these factors in formation of the tissue heat resistance level as characteristic of a species, a study was made on 9 species of lizards of the «Lacerta saxicola» complex. A characteristic feature of the complex is that some of the species belonging it are of hybrid origin, which implies that genetically they are closely related to other, parental forms. Heat resistance level of muscle tissue in a hybrid species may differ from the parental forms if the conditions of its existence are different. On other hand, genetically unrelated species living under similar conditions may have the same level of heat resistance of muscle tissue. Interspecific differences in heat resistance of muscles cannot be explained by phylogenetic relations only. Of major importance in formation of the cellular heat resistance level in the process of speciation are ecological, and primarily, thermal conditions of the environment.


temperature adaptation; thermostability of cells and tissues; species-specificity; speciation; environment; reptiles; amphibians

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