, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 189–197 | Cite as

Preliminary study of the genetic diversity of eastern Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis assamensis) in Thailand based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite markers

  • Manakorn Sukmak
  • Suchinda Malaivijitnond
  • Oliver Schülke
  • Julia Ostner
  • Yuzuru Hamada
  • Worawidh WajjwalkuEmail author
Original Article


Human overpopulation, deforestation, invasion of agricultural areas, and livestock are the primary causes for population fragmentation of wildlife. The distribution range of species of the genus Macaca is constantly decreasing and becoming increasingly fragmented due to forest deterioration. Assamese macaques (M. assamensis) are classified as near threatened in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Animals (2008) and have been declared a protected wildlife animal according to Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, B.E.2535 (1992) of Thailand. As studies of the population history and genetic diversity of Assamese macaques in Thailand are currently lacking, we aimed at a first investigation of their genetic diversity based on mitochondrial DNA [hypervariable regions 1 and 2 (HV1, HV2) and cytochrome B (CYTB) regions], as well as 15 microsatellite markers of five sampling sites distributed across Thailand. Our results indicate that Assamese macaques in Thailand are diverse, with eight maternal haplotypes and a low inbreeding coefficient in the Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary (PKWS) population. Moreover, our phylogenetic and median-joining network analysis based on mitochondrial (mt)DNA suggests a population distribution in accordance with the evolutionary scenario proposed for M. sinica. Today, the population of Assamese macaques is fragmented, and conservation strategies are needed to ensure the maintenance of genetic diversity of this primate species.


Phylogenetic Median-joining network mtDNA Microsatellites Macaca assamensis 



We thank the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT) and the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) for the permission to conduct this study and for all the support granted (permit 0004.3/3618, 0002.3/2647, 0907.1/1092). We are grateful to Kitti Kreetiyutanont, Mongkul Kumsuk, Kanjana Nitaya, and Jarupol Prabnasuk (Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary) for their cooperation. We thank all Team Macaque members at Phu Khieo Wildlife Sanctuary for help with sample collection. We thank Supakarn Kaewchot, Khajornpong Nakguea, all staff members from Mae Lao Wildlife Breeding Center and Chaing Rai Provincial Livestock Office for sample collection. We thank all staff from Primate Research Unit, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University and the 11th protected area regional office. We thank Benchapol Lorsunyaluck from Wildlife Unit, Kasetsart University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Kampaeng Saen Campus and Private Zoo for helping us with sample collection. We are very grateful to Linda Vigilant and Jojo Bhagavatula who developed the genetic analyses for the samples collected at PKWS. This research was supported by the Max-Planck Society, the National Geographic Society, and the German Initiative of Excellence through funds to University of Göttingen, as well as the Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology, Science and Technology Postgraduate Education and Research Development Office, Office of Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Education (AG-BIO/PERDO-CHE); and we thank the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kasetsart University, Thailand.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manakorn Sukmak
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suchinda Malaivijitnond
    • 3
  • Oliver Schülke
    • 4
  • Julia Ostner
    • 4
  • Yuzuru Hamada
    • 5
  • Worawidh Wajjwalku
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Agricultural BiotechnologyKasetsart UniversityNakhon PathomThailand
  2. 2.Center of Excellence on Agricultural Biotechnology: (AG-BIO/PERDO-CHE)BangkokThailand
  3. 3.Primate Research Unit, Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  4. 4.Courant Research Centre Evolution of Social BehaviourGeorg August UniversityGöttingenGermany
  5. 5.Evolutionary Morphology Section, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan
  6. 6.Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineKasetsart UniversityNakhon PathomThailand

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