Journal of Mammalian Evolution

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 271–280 | Cite as

Molecular Support for the Placement of Saiga and Procapra in Antilopinae (Artiodactyla, Bovidae)

  • Maria V. KuznetsovaEmail author
  • Marina V. Kholodova


The evolutionary history of the bovid subfamily Antilopinae is unclear. Traditionally, this subfamily is subdivided into two tribes: Neotragini (dwarf antelopes) and Antilopini (gazelles and their relatives). Here, we report new sequences for the 12S and 16S rRNA genes in the enigmatic antilopine taxa Procapra gutturosa and Saiga tatarica and analyze the phylogenetic relationships of these taxa relative to other antilopines. Our study demonstrates the close affinity of the saiga antelope to Gazella despite the conventional systematic allocation of Saiga to the Caprinae subfamily. The second member of the Saigini tribe, Pantholops hodgsoni (Tibetan gazelle), falls within Caprinae. In all of our analyses, Procapra gutturosa occupied a basal position in the Antilopinae clade or was a sister-group to the dwarf antelope Madoqua. This suggests early separation of Procapra from other antelopes.

Bovidae 12S rRNA 16S rRNA phylogeny Saiga Procapra 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Evolutionary Biochemistry, A. N. Belozersky InstituteMoscow State UniversityMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionMoscowRussia

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