Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA analyses reveal pronounced genetic structuring in Tunisian wild boar Sus scrofa
We analysed 74 wild boars from Tunisia with respect to patterns of genetic differentiation and diversity based on sequences of the mitochondrial control region and genotypes at eight nuclear microsatellite loci. Analysis of molecular variance for both marker systems and Bayesian structure analysis of our microsatellite data revealed a clear break between northern and southern populations. Southern wild boar were monomorphic for one of three mtDNA haplotypes; the other two (one of which only occurred in three individuals) were confined to the north. A comparison with published sequences showed all three haplotypes to belong to the major European clade E1. Microsatellite diversity was similar to that found in earlier studies of wild boar (expected heterozygosity of 0.695 and 0.597 for the north and south, respectively). Contrary to the mtDNA results, we did not find unequivocal evidence of a bottleneck in Tunisian wild boar based on our microsatellite data. The clear distinction between northern and southern populations may be due to an Algerian origin of the southern animals.
KeywordsGenetic diversity Microsatellites mtDNA Sus scrofa Tunisia
We are grateful to all managers in the “Direction Générale des Forêts- Ministère d´Agriculture de Tunis” for their help in contacting hunters and sample collection. We are also grateful to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany for financial support and granting to G. E. M. Hajji for a research stay at the Zoological Institute in Kiel.
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