Individuals sampled in hybrid zones are usually analysed according to their sampling locality, morphology, behaviour or karyotype. But the increasing availability of genetic information more and more favours its use for individual sorting purposes and numerous assignment methods based on the genetic composition of individuals have been developed. The shrews of the Sorex araneus group offer good opportunities to test the genetic assignment on individuals identified by their karyotype. Here we explored the potential and efficiency of a Bayesian assignment method combined or not with a reference dataset to study admixture and individual assignment in the difficult context of two hybrid zones between karyotypic species of the Sorex araneus group. As a whole, we assigned more than 80% of the individuals to their respective karyotypic categories (i.e. ‘pure’ species or hybrids). This assignment level is comparable to what was obtained for the same species away from hybrid zones. Additionally, we showed that the assignment result for several individuals was strongly affected by the inclusion or not of a reference dataset. This highlights the importance of such comparisons when analysing hybrid zones. Finally, differences between the admixture levels detected in both hybrid zones support the hypothesis of an impact of chromosomal rearrangements on gene flow.

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