Genetic Variability, Differentiation, and Founder Effect in Golden Jackals (Canis aureus) from Serbia as Revealed by Mitochondrial DNA and Nuclear Microsatellite Loci
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We analyzed 121 golden jackals (Canis aureus) from six sample sites in Serbia with regard to genetic variability and differentiation as revealed by mitochondrial control region sequences and eight nuclear microsatellite loci. There was no variation at all in the mtDNA sequences, and nuclear variability was very low (average observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.29 and 0.34, respectively). This is in line with the considerable recent range expansion of this species in the Balkans and indicates a strong founder effect in the recently established Serbian population. We did not find evidence of differentiation between the northeastern jackals and those from the plain of Srem or those in between. F-statistics and Bayesian Structure analyses, however, were indicative of a low degree of overall differentiation in the Serbian population. A vagrant Austrian jackal that was also analyzed was genetically indistinguishable from its Serbian conspecifics.
KeywordsCanis aureus Serbia Founder effect Microsatellites Mitochondrial DNA
The authors wish to express their gratitude to all persons involved in the collection of samples: Zoran Gubin (Smederevo), Borko Dimitrijevic (Svilajnac), Zivorad Pavlovic (Velika Plana), Sladan Markovic and Nenad Mirkovic (Veliko Gradiste), and Franz Suchentrunk (Austria).
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