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See detailIs Leopoldamys neilli (Rodentia, Muridae) a synonym of Leopoldamys herberti? A reply to Balakirev et al. (2013)
Latinne, Alice ULg; Chaval, Yannick; Waengsothorn, Surachit et al

in Zootaxa (2013), 3731(4), 589-598

Recently, Balakirev et al. (2013) presented a taxonomic revision of the genus Leopoldamys based on phylogenetic analyses. They identified five main Leopoldamys genetic lineages and suggested to rename ... [more ▼]

Recently, Balakirev et al. (2013) presented a taxonomic revision of the genus Leopoldamys based on phylogenetic analyses. They identified five main Leopoldamys genetic lineages and suggested to rename several of them. According to these authors, the genetic lineage previously thought to belong to L. edwardsi (lineage L1) should be assigned to L. revertens while L. neilli (lineage L2) should be considered as a junior synonym of L. herberti. Using molecular and morphological data from a large sampling of Leopoldamys specimens, the aim of the present study was to investigate the taxonomic status of L. herberti and L. neilli. This study reveals that, contrary to Balakirev et al.’s statement, both genetic lineages L1 and L2 occur in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, close to the type locality of L. herberti. We also show that the external measurements and color pattern of L. herberti are highly similar to those of L1 specimens but are not consistent with the morphology of L2 specimens. Therefore these results strongly suggest that L. herberti should be assigned to the genetic lineage L1. Consequently L. neilli should not be considered as a junior synonym of L. herberti and this study confirms that the appropriate name of the genetic lineage L2 is L. neilli. Moreover, as our results show that L. herberti should be assigned to the lineage L1, this name has nomenclatural priority over L. revertens, the species name suggested by Balakirev et al. (2013) for this lineage. [less ▲]

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See detailDiversity and endemism of Murinae rodents in Thai limestone karsts
Latinne, Alice ULg; Waengsothorn, Surachit; Rojanadilok, Prateep et al

in Systematics and Biodiversity (2013), 11(3), 323-344

This study aims to investigate the species diversity of rodents living in karst ecosystems of Thailand. A survey has been conducted throughout Thailand, 122 karsts sampled and 477 Murinae rodents live ... [more ▼]

This study aims to investigate the species diversity of rodents living in karst ecosystems of Thailand. A survey has been conducted throughout Thailand, 122 karsts sampled and 477 Murinae rodents live-trapped. Phylogenetic reconstructions were carried out using two mitochondrial markers (cytb, COI). A sequence-based species delimitation method completed by the analysis of the level of genetic divergence was then applied to define species boundaries within our dataset. The phylogenetic position of Niviventer hinpoon was also investigated and sequences obtained from the holotype specimen of this species were used to reliably identify samples of N. hinpoon. A total of 12 described Murinae species, corresponding to 17 deeply divergent genetic lineages, were encountered in limestone karsts of Thailand. Our study revealed an important genetic diversity within the traditionally recognized species Maxomys surifer (four highly divergent genetic lineages), Leopoldamys neilli (two highly divergent genetic lineages) and Berylmys bowersi (two highly divergent genetic lineages). These species could be considered as species complex and require further taxonomic work. This study also provides valuable information on the distribution of the two rodent species endemic to limestone karsts of Thailand, L. neilli and N. hinpoon. Leopoldamys neilli was the most abundant species encountered in Thai karsts during our survey. However, L. neilli specimens from western Thailand are genetically highly divergent from the remaining populations of L. neilli and could represent a separate species. Niviventer hinpoon, phylogenetically closely related to N. fulvescens, is much rarer and its distribution limited to central Thailand. Most of the other captured species are typically associated with forest ecosystems. This study suggests that limestone karsts play a key role in the preservation of the rodent species endemic to such habitat, but they would also provide refuges for the forest-dwelling Murinae rodents in deforested regions. [less ▲]

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See detailEvolutionary history of Leopoldamys neilli, a karst endemic rodent in Southeast Asia, and implications for its conservation
Latinne, Alice ULg; Waengsothorn, Surachit; Michaux, Johan ULg

Conference (2013, August 15)

In this study, we have investigated the phylogeography of Leopoldamys neilli, a Murinae rodent species endemic to limestone karsts in Southeast Asia, on the basis of mitochondrial and nuclear markers ... [more ▼]

In this study, we have investigated the phylogeography of Leopoldamys neilli, a Murinae rodent species endemic to limestone karsts in Southeast Asia, on the basis of mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers support a large-scale population structure of four main groups within L. neilli and a strong finer structure within each of these groups. A deep genealogical divergence among geographically close lineages is observed and denotes a high population fragmentation. Our findings suggest that the current phylogeographic pattern of this species results from the fragmentation of a widespread ancestral population and that vicariance has played a significant role in the evolutionary history of L. neilli during Plio-Pleistocene. This study revealed an unexpected high level of intraspecific diversity within L. neilli. Consequently, the four main L. neilli population groups should be considered as four distinct Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs) and require appropriate management and conservation plans. [less ▲]

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See detailOut-of-Himalaya: evolutionary history of the Dipodoidea (Rodentia) evidence the impact of past Asian environmental changes
Pisano, Julie ULg; Condamine, Fabien L.; Lebedev, Vladimir et al

Conference (2013, August)

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See detailApparent absence of a barrier to nuclear gene flow between mitochondrial lineages of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in Central Finland
Pisano, Julie ULg; Leblois, Raphael; Henttonen, Heikki et al

Poster (2013, August)

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See detailDesman des Pyrénées : Quand la génétique vient compléter les connaissances naturalistes...
Gillet, François ULg; Némoz, Mélanie; Blanc, Frédéric et al

Conference (2013, January)

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See detailNew advances on the phylogeography and molecular systematics of the Eurasian rodents2013
Michaux, Johan ULg

in Abstract book of the 13th Rodens & Spatium conference (2013)

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See detailConservation genetics : new tools and hope for threatened species
Michaux, Johan ULg

in abstract book of the 6th European congress of mammalogy (2013)

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See detailMolecular phylogeographt of the common dormouse
mouton, alice; Grill, andrea; Sara, Maurizio et al

in Abstract book of the 13th Rodens & Spatium conference (2013)

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See detailSystematics and molecular phyulgeny of the Dipodidae superfamily (Rodentia, Mammalia)
Pisano, Julie; Pages, Marie; Lebedev, Vladimir et al

in Abstract book of the 13th Rodens & Spatium conference (2013)

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See detailA new genus of rodent from wallacea (Rodentia: Muridae: Murinae: Rattini), and its implication for biogeography and Indo-Pacific Rattini systematics
Fabre, P.-H.; Pagès, Marie ULg; Musser, G. G. et al

in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (2013), 169(2), 408-447

We describe Halmaheramys bokimekot Fabre, Pagès, Musser, Fitriana, Semiadi & Helgen gen. et sp. nov., a new genus and species of murine rodent from the North Moluccas, and study its phylogenetic placement ... [more ▼]

We describe Halmaheramys bokimekot Fabre, Pagès, Musser, Fitriana, Semiadi & Helgen gen. et sp. nov., a new genus and species of murine rodent from the North Moluccas, and study its phylogenetic placement using both molecular and morphological data. We generated a densely sampled mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data set that included most genera of Indo-Pacific Murinae, and used probabilistic methodologies to infer their phylogenetic relationships. To reconstruct their biogeographical history, we first dated the topology and then used a Lagrange analysis to infer ancestral geographic areas. Finally, we combined the ancestral area reconstructions with temporal information to compare patterns of murine colonization among Indo-Pacific archipelagos. We provide a new and comprehensive molecular phylogenetic reconstruction for Indo-Pacific Murinae, with a focus on the Rattus division. Using previous results and those presented in this study, we define a new Indo-Pacific group within the Rattus division, composed of Bullimus, Bunomys, Paruromys, Halmaheramys, Sundamys, and Taeromys. Our phylogenetic reconstructions revealed a relatively recent diversification from the Middle Miocene to Plio-Pleistocene associated with several major dispersal events. We identified two independent Indo-Pacific dispersal events from both western and eastern Indo-Pacific archipelagos to the isolated island of Halmahera, which led to the speciations of H. bokimekot gen. et sp. nov. and Rattus morotaiensis Kellogg, 1945. We propose that a Middle Miocene collision between the Halmahera and Sangihe arcs may have been responsible for the arrival of the ancestor of Halmaheramys to eastern Wallacea. Halmaheramys bokimekot gen. et sp. nov. is described in detail, and its systematics and biogeography are documented and illustrated. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. [less ▲]

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See detailToward a Noninvasive Inuit Polar Bear Survey: Genetic Data from Polar Bear Hair Snags
Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter; Wong, Pamela; Harris, Christopher et al

in Wildlife Society Bulletin (2013), 37(2), 394-401

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See detailPan-African Genetic Structure in the African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer): Investigating Intraspecific Divergence
Smitz, Nathalie ULg; Berthouly, C.; Cornélis, D. et al

in PLoS ONE (2013), 8(2),

The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) exhibits extreme morphological variability, which has led to controversies about the validity and taxonomic status of the various recognized subspecies. The present ... [more ▼]

The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) exhibits extreme morphological variability, which has led to controversies about the validity and taxonomic status of the various recognized subspecies. The present study aims to clarify these by inferring the pan-African spatial distribution of genetic diversity, using a comprehensive set of mitochondrial D-loop sequences from across the entire range of the species. All analyses converged on the existence of two distinct lineages, corresponding to a group encompassing West and Central African populations and a group encompassing East and Southern African populations. The former is currently assigned to two to three subspecies (S. c. nanus, S. c. brachyceros, S. c. aequinoctialis) and the latter to a separate subspecies (S. c. caffer). Forty-two per cent of the total amount of genetic diversity is explained by the between-lineage component, with one to seventeen female migrants per generation inferred as consistent with the isolation-with-migration model. The two lineages diverged between 145 000 to 449 000 years ago, with strong indications for a population expansion in both lineages, as revealed by coalescent-based analyses, summary statistics and a star-like topology of the haplotype network for the S. c. caffer lineage. A Bayesian analysis identified the most probable historical migration routes, with the Cape buffalo undertaking successive colonization events from Eastern toward Southern Africa. Furthermore, our analyses indicate that, in the West-Central African lineage, the forest ecophenotype may be a derived form of the savanna ecophenotype and not vice versa, as has previously been proposed. The African buffalo most likely expanded and diverged in the late to middle Pleistocene from an ancestral population located around the current-day Central African Republic, adapting morphologically to colonize new habitats, hence developing the variety of ecophenotypes observed today. © 2013 Smitz et al. [less ▲]

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See detailCryptic diversity in brevipalpus mites (tenuipalpidae)
Navia, D.; Mendonça, R. S.; Ferragut, F. et al

in Zoologica Scripta (2013), 42(4), 406-426

Defining the taxonomic identity of organisms is a prerequisite for their study, and in the case of economically important species, misidentification may lead to the application of inappropriate prevention ... [more ▼]

Defining the taxonomic identity of organisms is a prerequisite for their study, and in the case of economically important species, misidentification may lead to the application of inappropriate prevention and control strategies. Flat mites of the Brevipalpus genus include several crop pests and the systematics of these mites represents a challenge for acarologists. Many of the most economically important Brevipalpus species have repeatedly been inaccurately identified. Such problematic classification has been attributed to the likely occurrence of cryptic species in the genus. In this study, we used an integrative approach that combined molecular analyses, including sequence-based species delimitation, with detailed morphological identification using traits that have recently showed to be taxonomically informative. Sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) were obtained from individuals collected from host plants belonging to 14 genera and 13 families across 29 locations in the Americas (Brazil, Chile, USA). The phylogenetic analyses included previously published Brevipalpus sequences from GenBank, and the final data set was classified into 44 haplotypes. Six putative species were recognised by COI-based species delimitation analysis, and morphological evidence supported each of these species. The integrative approach revealed the occurrence of cryptic species in the Brevipalpus genus and contributed to the clarification of previously noted incongruences. The results presented here allow for the evaluation of taxonomic characteristics in a phylogenetic context and indicate new characters for the differentiation of Brevipalpus species. In addition, Brevipalpus incognitus n. sp. Ferragut & Navia, a cryptic species detected in this study, is described based on morphological and molecular traits. Implications of the advances in Brevipalpus systematics presented herein with respect to pest management are briefly discussed. © 2013 The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular phylogeny and systematics of Dipodoidea: a test of morphology-based hypotheses
Lebedev, Vladimir; Bannikova, Anna; Pagès, Marie ULg et al

in Zoologica Scripta (2013), (3),

The superfamily Dipodoidea (Rodentia, Myomorpha) in its current interpretation contains a single family subdivided into six subfamilies. Four of them include morphologically specialized bipedal arid ... [more ▼]

The superfamily Dipodoidea (Rodentia, Myomorpha) in its current interpretation contains a single family subdivided into six subfamilies. Four of them include morphologically specialized bipedal arid-dwelling jerboas (Dipodinae – three-toed jerboas, Allactaginae – fivetoed jerboas, Cardiocraniinae – pygmy jerboas and Euchoreutinae – long-eared jerboas), the other two are represented by more generalized quadrupedal taxa (Zapodinae – jumping mice and Sminthinae – birch mice). Despite considerable effort from morphologists, the taxonomy as well as the phylogeny of the Dipodoidea remains controversial. Strikingly, molecular approach has never been envisaged to investigate these questions. In this study, the phylogenetic relationships among the main dipodoid lineages were reconstructed for the first time using DNA sequence data from four nuclear genes (IRBP, GHR, BRCA1, RAG1). No evidence of conflict among genes was revealed. The same robustly supported tree topology was inferred from the concatenated alignment whatever the phylogenetic methods used (maximum parsimony, maximum-likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic methods). Sminthinae branches basally within the dipodoids followed by Zapodinae. Monophyletic Cardiocraniinae is sister to all other jerboas. Within the latter, the monophyly of both Dipodinae and Allactaginae is highly supported. The relationships between Dipodinae, Allactaginae and Euchoreutinae should be regarded as unresolved trichotomy. Morphological hypotheses were confronted to findings based on the presented molecular data. As a result, previously proposed sister group relationships between Euchoreutes and Sicista, Paradipus and Cardiocraniinae as well as the monophyly of Cardiocaniinae + Dipodinae were rejected. However, the latter association is consistently supported by most morphological analyses. The basis of the obvious conflict between genes and morphology remains unclear. Suggested modifications to the taxonomy of Dipodoidea imply recognition of three families: Sminthidae, Zapodidae and Dipodidae, the latter including Cardiocraniinae, Euchoreutinae, Allactaginae and Dipodinae as subfamilies. [less ▲]

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See detailCombined Mitochondrial and Nuclear Markers Revealed a Deep Vicariant History for Leopoldamys neilli, a Cave-Dwelling Rodent of Thailand
Latinne, Alice ULg; Waengsothorn, Surachit; Rojanadilok, Prateep et al

in PLoS ONE (2012), 7(10), 47670

Background: Historical biogeography and evolutionary processes of cave taxa have been widely studied in temperate regions. However, Southeast Asian cave ecosystems remain largely unexplored despite their ... [more ▼]

Background: Historical biogeography and evolutionary processes of cave taxa have been widely studied in temperate regions. However, Southeast Asian cave ecosystems remain largely unexplored despite their high scientific interest. Here we studied the phylogeography of Leopoldamys neilli, a cave-dwelling murine rodent living in limestone karsts of Thailand, and compared the molecular signature of mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Methodology/Principal Findings: We used a large sampling (n = 225) from 28 localities in Thailand and a combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers with various evolutionary rates (two intronic regions and 12 microsatellites). The evolutionary history of L. neilli and the relative role of vicariance and dispersal were investigated using ancestral range reconstruction analysis and Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC). Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers support a large-scale population structure of four main groups (west, centre, north and northeast) and a strong finer structure within each of these groups. A deep genealogical divergence among geographically close lineages is observed and denotes a high population fragmentation. Our findings suggest that the current phylogeographic pattern of this species results from the fragmentation of a widespread ancestral population and that vicariance has played a significant role in the evolutionary history of L. neilli. These deep vicariant events that occurred during Plio-Pleistocene are related to the formation of the Central Plain of Thailand. Consequently, the western, central, northern and northeastern groups of populations were historically isolated and should be considered as four distinct Evolutionarily Significant Units (ESUs). Conclusions/Significance: Our study confirms the benefit of using several independent genetic markers to obtain a comprehensive and reliable picture of L. neilli evolutionary history at different levels of resolution. The complex genetic structure of Leopoldamys neilli is supported by congruent mitochondrial and nuclear markers and has been influenced by the geological history of Thailand during Plio-Pleistocene. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of noninvasive genetic identification methods and polymorphic microsatellites for the Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus)
Gillet, François ULg; Cabria Garrido, Maria Teresa; Némoz, Mélanie et al

Poster (2012, August)

The Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) is probably one of the most threatened European mammal species. This small insectivorous and semi-aquatic species is endemic to the Pyrenean Mountains and of the ... [more ▼]

The Pyrenean desman (Galemys pyrenaicus) is probably one of the most threatened European mammal species. This small insectivorous and semi-aquatic species is endemic to the Pyrenean Mountains and of the north of the Iberic Peninsula. Many biologic aspects of this species are currently suffering from a major lack of information, particularly those concerning its genetics. Therefore the implementation of conservative efforts for the Pyrenean Desman remains extremely difficult. In order to improve the knowledge of this vulnerable species and notably, to better understand its distribution area, the first aim of our research was to develop non invasive genetic identification methods based on faeces. The second aim was the development of several polymorphic microsatellites markers in order to have a first look at the genetic structure of the Pyrenean Desman in its French distribution area. The identification methods were developed on the basis of the sequencing of a small mitochondrial DNA (cyt b) fragment as well as a RFLP method. These approaches led to the identification of the Pyrenean desman and to the differentiation of the latter from two other species living in the same type of habitat, the white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) and the water shrew (Neomys fodiens). More than fifteen polymorphic microsatellites markers could be found for the Pyrenean Desman and their genotyping revealed a low number of alleles per locus (two to five). The results of this preliminary work tend to show a low genetic diversity for the Pyrenean Desman but this result needs to be confirmed in the future with a more extended and complete study. [less ▲]

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