mtDNA indicates profound population structure in Indian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
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We analyzed mtDNA polymorphisms (parts of control region, ND5, ND2, Cytb, 12S, together 902 bp) in 59 scat and 18 tissue samples from 13 Indian populations of the critically endangered Indian tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), along with zoo animals as reference. Northern tiger populations exhibit two unique haplotypes suggesting genetic isolation. Western populations from Sariska (extinct in 2004) and Ranthambore are genetically similar, such that Ranthambore could serve as a source for reintroduction in Sariska. Zoo populations maintain mitochondrial lineages that are rare or absent in the wild.
KeywordsConservation Indian tiger mtDNA Population genetics Scat
Financial support is acknowledged from University of Potsdam and DAAD. We are thankful to the Director and Dean of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, for providing necessary facilities and acknowledge the cooperation of Indian forest officials. Valerio Ketmaier and Christoph Bleidorn adviced in data analysis. Katja Moll, Sudhansu Mishra, and Udayan Borthakur provided technical assistance.
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