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Conservation Genetics

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 827–831 | Cite as

Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences reveals polyphyly in the goitred gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa)

  • Timothy Wacher
  • Torsten Wronski
  • Robert L. Hammond
  • Bruce Winney
  • Mark J. Blacket
  • Kris J. Hundertmark
  • Osama B. Mohammed
  • Sawsan A. Omer
  • William Macasero
  • Hannes Lerp
  • Martin Plath
  • Christoph Bleidorn
Short Communication

Abstract

Goitred gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) rank among the most endangered mammals on the Arabian Peninsula and the Asian steppes. Past conservation efforts have been plagued by confusion about the phylogenetic relationship among various—phenotypically discernable—populations, and even the question of species boundaries was far from being certain. This lack of knowledge had a direct impact on conservation measures, especially ex situ breeding programmes, hampering the assignment of captive stocks to potential conservation units. Here, we provide a phylogenetic framework, based on the analysis of mtDNA sequences of a number of individuals collected from the wild and captivity throughout the species’ natural range. Our analyses revealed a polyphyly within the presumed species of G. subgutturosa resulting in two distinct clades: one on the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Turkey (Gazella marica; sand gazelle) and one genetically diverse larger clade from the rest of its Asian range (G. subgutturosa; goitred gazelle). Additionally, we provide a quick method (PCR-RFLP) to analyse the taxonomic affiliation of captive gazelles that will be used for re-introductions into the wild.

Keywords

Arabian Peninsula Cryptic species Gazella subgutturosa Phylogeny Conservation units 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank H. H. Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Mohammed al Saud (Secretary General, Saudi Wildlife Commission) for his permission and support to conduct scientific research on wildlife in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are greatly indebted to Richard Kock (Zoological Society of London), Thomas M. Butynski and Ernest Robinson (King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre) for the support and encouragement rendered to our study. Finally, we would like to thank all colleagues who have helped gathering material from all over the Middle East (Table 1).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Wacher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Torsten Wronski
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert L. Hammond
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bruce Winney
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Mark J. Blacket
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Kris J. Hundertmark
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Osama B. Mohammed
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • Sawsan A. Omer
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • William Macasero
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hannes Lerp
    • 8
  • Martin Plath
    • 8
  • Christoph Bleidorn
    • 9
  1. 1.Conservation Programmes, Zoological Society of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.King Khalid Wildlife Research Centre, Saudi Wildlife CommissionRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK
  4. 4.Department of Clinical PharmacologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  5. 5.Department of ZoologyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  6. 6.Department of Biology and Wildlife, Institute of Arctic BiologyUniversity of Alaska FairbanksFairbanksUSA
  7. 7.Department of Zoology, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  8. 8.Department of Ecology and EvolutionJ. W. Goethe-University Frankfurt am MainFrankfurt/MGermany
  9. 9.Institute for Biology II, Molecular Evolution and Systematics of AnimalsUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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