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See detailTaxonomy, evolutionary history and biogeography of the broad-toothed field mouse (Apodemus mystacinus) in the eastern Mediterranean area based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes
Michaux, Johan ULg; Bellinvia, E.; Lymberakis, P.

in Biological Journal of the Linnean Society (2005), 85(1), 53-63

The broad-toothed field mouse (Apodemus mystacinus) is distributed throughout the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor and the Middle East. It is generally split into two different specific entities: Apodemus ... [more ▼]

The broad-toothed field mouse (Apodemus mystacinus) is distributed throughout the Balkan Peninsula, Asia Minor and the Middle East. It is generally split into two different specific entities: Apodemus epimelas occurs on the Balkan Peninsula and A. mystacinus inhabits Asia Minor and the Middle East. This analysis, based on two mitochondrial regions (cytochrome b and the D-loop) and the interstitial retinol binding protein (IRBP) nuclear gene, confirms an important level of genetic divergence between the animals from these regions and their separation from each other at least 4.2-5.1 Mya, which is in favour of a distinct specific status. Finally, the broad-toothed field mice from southwestern Turkey appear to be closely related to the animals from Crete but highly distinct from the populations of the other Oriental regions. This supports a distinct subspecific level (A. m. rhodius) for the insular animals and also for those from south-western Turkey. From a biogeographical point of view, it can be assumed that either late Pliocene or early Pleistocene cooling led to the isolation of two main groups of A. mystacinus, one in the Balkan region and the other one in Turkey and the Near East (Syria and Israel). In this region, it is suggested that a more recent event appeared during the Quaternary period, isolating broad-toothed field mice in Crete and leading to the appearance of two well-differentiated genetic groups: one in Crete and south-western Turkey, and the other widespread in northern and eastern Turkey as well as in the Near East. © 2005 The Linnean Society of London. [less ▲]

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