Title
Plio-Pleistocene history of West African Sudanian savanna and the phylogeography of the **Praomys daltoni** complex (Rodentia): the environment/geography/genetic interplayPlio-Pleistocene history of West African Sudanian savanna and the phylogeography of the **Praomys daltoni** complex (Rodentia): the environment/geography/genetic interplay
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Research group
Evolutionary ecology group (EVECO)
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Molecular ecology. - Oxford
Volume/pages
19(2010):21, p. 4783-4799
ISSN
0962-1083
ISI
000283163700016
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Rodents of the Praomys daltoni complex are typical inhabitants of the Sudanian savanna ecosystem in western Africa and represent a suitable model for testing the effects of Quaternary climatic oscillations on extant genetic variation patterns. Phylogeographical analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b) across the distribution range of the complex revealed several well-defined clades that do not support the division of the clade into the two species currently recognized on the basis of morphology, i.e. P. daltoni (Thomas, 1892) and Praomys derooi (Van der Straeten & Verheyen 1978). The observed genetic structure fits the refuge hypothesis, suggesting that only a small number of populations repeatedly survived in distinct forest-savanna mosaic blocks during the arid phases of the Pleistocene, and then expanded again during moister periods. West African rivers may also have contributed to genetic differentiation, especially by forming barriers after secondary contact of expanding populations. The combination of three types of genetic markers (mtDNA sequences, microsatellite loci, cytogenetic data) provides evidence for the presence of up to three lineages, which most probably represent distinct biological species. Furthermore, incongruence between nuclear and mtDNA markers in some individuals unambiguously points towards a past introgression event. Our results highlight the importance of combining different molecular markers for an accurate interpretation of genetic data.
E-info
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