Polymorphism of the 12S rRNA gene and phylogeography of the Central Asian tortoises Agrionemys horsfieldii gray, 1844
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Based on intraspecific polymorphism of 12S rRNA gene, genetic variation of isolated populations of the Central Asian tortoise, Agrionemys horsfieldii, was for the first time investigated on a large part of the species distribution range, encompassing Uzbekistan, southern Kazakhstan, and northern and eastern Iran. In 59 tortoises, four haplotypes were discovered, including two (AH1 and AH2), described earlier. Haplotype AH1 was detected in 52 tortoises, inhabiting southern Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Haplotype AH2 was found in four tortoises from the border territory between Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. Two novel haplotypes, AH3 and AH4, were detected in the three tortoises from Iran. Based on nucleotide substitutions in the 12S rDNA sequence, the possible divergence time between the tortoises from different parts of the range was estimated. Possible pathways of the formation of modern intraspecific groups of A. horsfieldii are discussed.
KeywordsCarapace Length Border Territory Nominative Subspecies RAPD Variation Blood Sampling Site
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