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See detailSpecies identification, molecular sexing and genotyping using non-invasive approaches in two wild bovids species: Bos gaurus and Bos javanicus.
Riviere-Dobigny, Taiana; Doan, Lan Pham; Quang, Nam Le et al

in Zoo Biology (2009), 28(2), 127-36

Since the second Indochina war, habitat destruction and overhunting has resulted in fragmentation of the remaining populations of Bos javanicus and B. gaurus. Nowadays, both species are in serious danger ... [more ▼]

Since the second Indochina war, habitat destruction and overhunting has resulted in fragmentation of the remaining populations of Bos javanicus and B. gaurus. Nowadays, both species are in serious danger, especially the gaur. In Vietnam, where these species have become almost impossible to capture in the wild, non-invasive investigations are the only feasible approach to obtain data on populations. However, non-invasive derived DNA, especially in tropical areas, is usually characterized by low concentrations, poor quality and/or contamination from alien DNA. To assist in tropical conservation management, baseline information is provided here on assessing the reliability of species identification, molecular sexing and microsatellite genotyping using fecal DNA from B. gaurus and B. javanicus. For species identification using bovine fecal samples, cytochrome b fragment between positions 867 and 1140 was found to contain species diagnostic sites, which distinguishes the four species encountered in the region: B. gaurus, B. indicus, B. javanicus and B. taurus. For sex determination, primers were initially tested on DNA obtained from blood. Then, these primers were successfully used on DNA derived from fecal material. Finally, we also evaluate the feasibility of non-invasive microsatellite genotyping on fecal samples collected in Vietnamese nature reserves. The results presented here improve on current molecular methods based on fecal material obtained from tropical areas. [less ▲]

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See detailFalse phylogenies on wood mice due to cryptic cytochrome-b pseudogene.
Dubey, Sylvain; Michaux, Johan ULg; Brunner, Harald et al

in Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution (2009), 50(3), 633-41

The phylogeny and phylogeography of the Old World wood mice (subgenus Sylvaemus, genus Apodemus, Muridae) are well-documented. Nevertheless, the distributions of species, such as A. fulvipectus and A ... [more ▼]

The phylogeny and phylogeography of the Old World wood mice (subgenus Sylvaemus, genus Apodemus, Muridae) are well-documented. Nevertheless, the distributions of species, such as A. fulvipectus and A. ponticus remain dubious, as well as their phylogenetic relationships with A. sylvaticus. We analysed samples of Apodemus spp. across Europe using the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene (cyt-b) and compared the DNA and amino-acid compositions of previously published sequences. The main result stemming from this study is the presence of a well-differentiated lineage of Sylvaemus including samples of various species (A. sylvaticus, A. fulvipectus, A. ponticus) from distant locations, which were revealed to be nuclear copies of the mitochondrial cyt-b. The presence of this cryptic pseudogene in published sequences is supported by different pathways. This has led to important errors in previous molecular trees and hence to partial misinterpretations in the phylogeny of Apodemus. [less ▲]

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See detailIsolation, characterization and PCR multiplexing of polymorphic microsatellite markers in the edible dormouse, Glis glis
Huerner, H.; Martin, Jacques ULg; Ribas, A. et al

in Molecular Ecology Resources (2009), 9(3), 885-887

We isolated and characterized 10 dinucleotide microsatellite loci in the edible dormouse, Glis glis (Linnaeus). Four multiplex panels were developed. Loci were amplified in samples from two geographically ... [more ▼]

We isolated and characterized 10 dinucleotide microsatellite loci in the edible dormouse, Glis glis (Linnaeus). Four multiplex panels were developed. Loci were amplified in samples from two geographically distant populations (Torgny in Belgium and Montseny in Spain). All loci were polymorphic in Spain but four were monomorphic in Belgium. Individuals from Belgium and Spain exhibited an average allelic diversity of 1.9 and 3.3 and an observed heterozygosity ranging from 0.08 to 0.47 and from 0.04 to 0.72, respectively. [less ▲]

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See detailLimestone karst rodents in Southeast Asia
Latinne, Alice ULg; Michaux, Johan ULg

Conference (2008, October 02)

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See detailRecent discoveries of new hantaviruses widen their range and question their origins.
Henttonen, Heikki; Buchy, Philippe; Suputtamongkol, Yupin et al

in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (2008), 1149

Hantaviruses belong to the Bunyaviridae family. While usually hosted by wild mammals, they are potentially pathogenic for humans, and several serologically distinct groups associated with different ... [more ▼]

Hantaviruses belong to the Bunyaviridae family. While usually hosted by wild mammals, they are potentially pathogenic for humans, and several serologically distinct groups associated with different syndromes have been identified. Yet, investigations have mostly been conducted where human infections by hantaviruses constitute a real and well-identified public health problem, i.e., the holarctic and neotropical areas. Some hantaviruses have also been described from a Suncus murinus in India and a Bandicota indica in Thailand. In addition, recent investigations in Cambodia revealed new Hantavirus types. More recently, two new Hantavirus species were described: Sangassou from a Hylomyscus simus, and Tanganya from a Crocidura theresae, both from Africa (Guinea), thus strongly questioning the current views about geographic range, evolution, and epidemiology of hantaviruses. In such a framework, we have conducted a survey of Hantavirus diversity in Southeast Asia which allows us to isolate the Thailand virus and address questions about the taxonomy of their rodent hosts. Here we present a molecular analysis of representatives of all currently known Hantavirus species, thus allowing the comparison between the newly described ones with a large range sample of rodent hantaviruses. Our results clearly point to the presence of a particular lineage of hantaviruses in Southeast Asia. It also strongly suggests that new viruses, additional mammalian hosts and different related syndromes in humans are likely to be discovered in the near future, particularly in Southeast Asia and in Africa, where Muridae rodents are highly diversified. Furthermore, additional work is also urgently needed to investigate the hantaviruses associated with Crociduridae and Soricidae. [less ▲]

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See detailEvidence of a highly complex phylogeographic structure on a specialist river bird species, the dipper (Cinclus cinclus).
Hourlay, F.; Libois, Roland ULg; D'Amico, F. et al

in Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution (2008), 49(2), 435-44

This study details the phylogeographic pattern of the white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus), a Palearctic, temperate, passerine bird that is exclusively associated with flowing water. Our results reveal ... [more ▼]

This study details the phylogeographic pattern of the white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus), a Palearctic, temperate, passerine bird that is exclusively associated with flowing water. Our results reveal a complex phylogeographic structure with at least five distinct lineages for the Western Palearctic region. As for many species of the Western Palearctic fauna and flora, this genetic structure is probably linked to the isolation of populations in different southern refuges during glacial periods. Furthermore, the isolation of populations in Scandinavia and/or Eastern regions, but also in Morocco and probably in Corsica, was accentuated by ecological and biogeographic barriers during Quaternary interglacial periods. During glacial periods, Italy, Sicily and the Balkano-Carpathian region acted as major refuge zones for the dipper. At the end of the last ice age, Western Europe was repopulated by dippers from an Italian refuge, while Eastern Europe was recolonised by Balkano-Carpathian birds. A large contact zone between these two lineages was evidenced and extends from Luxembourg to Hungary. Finally, our results indicate the need to clarify the taxonomic status of the dipper, especially concerning the European subspecies whose validity appears uncertain. [less ▲]

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See detailGeography and host biogeography matter for understanding the phylogeography of a parasite.
Nieberding, Caroline M. ULg; Durette-Desset, Marie-Claude; Vanderpoorten, Alain ULg et al

in Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution (2008), 47(2), 538-54

The co-evolution between hosts and parasites has long been recognized as a fundamental driver of macro-evolutionary patterns of diversification. The effect of co-differentiation on parasite ... [more ▼]

The co-evolution between hosts and parasites has long been recognized as a fundamental driver of macro-evolutionary patterns of diversification. The effect of co-differentiation on parasite diversification is, however, often confounded by underlying geographic patterns of host distribution. In order to disentangle the confounding effects of allopatric versus host speciation, the mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) gene was sequenced in seventy individuals of the parasitic nematode genus Heligmosomoides sampled in the six Apodemus mice species common in the western Palearctic region. The nuclear internal transcribed spacers (ITS) 1 and 2 were also sequenced in fifteen parasites to confirm the mitochondrial data. All lineages differentiated according to a geographic pattern and independently from the sampled host species. This suggests that host speciation did not involve concurrent parasite speciation. However, the geographic distribution range of some parasite lineages mirrors that of A. sylvaticus lineages in SW Europe, and that of A. flavicollis lineages in the Balkans and in the Middle East. Thus, regional co-differentiation likely occurred between the parasite and the two sister Apodemus hosts in different parts of their distribution range. We suggest that differences in regional abundances of A. sylvaticus and A. flavicollis are responsible for generating this pattern of regional co-differentiation. This study highlights the importance of integrating both geography and biogeographic information from potential hosts to better understand their parasite phylogeography. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic pattern of the recent recovery of European otters in southern France
Janssens, Xavier; Fontaine, Michael C; Michaux, Johan ULg et al

in Ecography (2008), 31(2), 176-186

We investigated how landscape affects the population genetic structure and the dispersal of the elusive European otter Lutra lutra in a contemporary colonization context, over several generations and at ... [more ▼]

We investigated how landscape affects the population genetic structure and the dispersal of the elusive European otter Lutra lutra in a contemporary colonization context, over several generations and at the level of hydrographic basins. Our study area included 10 basins located in the Cevennes National Park (CNP), at the southern front of the natural otter recovery in France. Each basin comprised 50 to 300 km of permanent rivers that were surveyed for otter presence from 1991 to 2005. Faecal samples collected in 2004 and 2005 in this area were genotyped at 9 microsatellite loci, resulting in the identification of 70 genetically distinct individuals. Bayesian clustering methods were used to infer genetic structure of the populations and to compare recent gene flow to the observed colonization. At the regional level, we identified 2 distinct genetic clusters (NE and SW; FST=0.102) partially separated by ridges, suggesting that the CNP was recolonized by 2 genetically distinct otter populations. At the basin level, the genetic distance between groups of individuals in different basins was positively correlated to the mean slope separating these basins. The probable origins and directions of individual movements (i.e. migration between clusters and basin colonization inside clusters) were inferred from assignment tests. This approach shows that steep and dry lands can stop, impede or divert the dispersal of a mobile carnivore such as the otter. [less ▲]

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See detailRise of oceanographic barriers in continuous populations of a cetacean: the genetic structure of harbour porpoises in Old World waters
Fontaine, Michaël C. ULg; Baird, Stuart J. E.; Piry, Sylvain et al

in BMC Biology (2007), 5

BACKGROUND: Understanding the role of seascape in shaping genetic and demographic population structure is highly challenging for marine pelagic species such as cetaceans for which there is generally ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Understanding the role of seascape in shaping genetic and demographic population structure is highly challenging for marine pelagic species such as cetaceans for which there is generally little evidence of what could effectively restrict their dispersal. In the present work, we applied a combination of recent individual-based landscape genetic approaches to investigate the population genetic structure of a highly mobile extensive range cetacean, the harbour porpoise in the eastern North Atlantic, with regards to oceanographic characteristics that could constrain its dispersal. RESULTS: Analyses of 10 microsatellite loci for 752 individuals revealed that most of the sampled range in the eastern North Atlantic behaves as a 'continuous' population that widely extends over thousands of kilometres with significant isolation by distance (IBD). However, strong barriers to gene flow were detected in the south-eastern part of the range. These barriers coincided with profound changes in environmental characteristics and isolated, on a relatively small scale, porpoises from Iberian waters and on a larger scale porpoises from the Black Sea. CONCLUSION: The presence of these barriers to gene flow that coincide with profound changes in oceanographic features, together with the spatial variation in IBD strength, provide for the first time strong evidence that physical processes have a major impact on the demographic and genetic structure of a cetacean. This genetic pattern further suggests habitat-related fragmentation of the porpoise range that is likely to intensify with predicted surface ocean warming. [less ▲]

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See detailVIABILITY OF THE NORTHEAST ATLANTIC HARBOUR PORPOISE AND SEAL POPULATION (GENETIC AND ECOLOGICAL STUDY)
Das, Krishna ULg; Drouguet, Olivier; Fontaine, Michaël ULg et al

Report (2007)

Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) are far more abundant along our coast compared to the beginning of the nineties. Human impact on these species is however hard to ... [more ▼]

Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) and harbour seals (Phoca vitulina) are far more abundant along our coast compared to the beginning of the nineties. Human impact on these species is however hard to establish, mainly due to lack of information on marine mammal population ecology, density, distribution and diversity. This project aims to gain further knowledge on the viability of the harbour porpoise and harbour seal populations in the North Sea (focusing mainly on its southern Bight) through - The characterisation of their genetic structure and diversity (through mtDNA and microsatellites in harbour porpoises) - A better understanding of their feeding ecology (through δ13C and δ15N measurements in muscles) - The assessment of their susceptibility of being trapped accidentally in fishing nets (post-mortem investigations) Harbour porpoise and harbour seal occupied the top trophic levels but displayed different feeding habits as inferred from their δ13C and δ15N mean values. Harbour porpoises displayed lower mean δ15N values suggesting a lower trophic position likely oriented towards small planktivorous fish such as herring and lesser sandeel. However, both their recent high abundance and their dietary preferences might lead to a higher susceptibility to by-catch as revealed by the significant emergence of net entrapment and net marks revealed by post-mortem investigations. The question rises about the sustainability of these incidental captures. Furthermore, genetic investigations revealed a higher fragmentation of the porpoises collected along the coast of France, Belgium and Netherlands. This apparent fragmentation is of particular importance from a conservation point of view and enhances the fact to protect in priority these last populations. Our study showed importance of multidisciplinary approaches (post-mortem investigations, stable isotope measurements (δ13C and δ15N measurements) and genetic investigations using mtDNA and microsatellites) to apprehend the question of marine mammal survival in our waters. [less ▲]

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See detailSpeciation and phylogeography of the Southeast Asian Anopheles sundaicus complex.
Dusfour, Isabelle; Michaux, Johan ULg; Harbach, Ralph E et al

in Infection, Genetics & Evolution (2007), 7(4), 484-93

Anopheles sundaicus s.l. is a malaria vector in coastal areas of Southeast Asia. Previous studies showed at least four distinct species within the complex. The present study investigated the ... [more ▼]

Anopheles sundaicus s.l. is a malaria vector in coastal areas of Southeast Asia. Previous studies showed at least four distinct species within the complex. The present study investigated the phylogeography and the status of A. sundaicus s.l. populations from Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia with regard to A. sundaicus s.s. from Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo and A. epiroticus in Vietnam and Thailand. Three lineages recovered by analyses of Cyt-b and COI (mtDNA) confirmed the presence of A. sundaicus s.s. in Malaysian Borneo, the distribution of A. epiroticus from southern Vietnam to peninsular Malaysia, and recognised a distinct form in Indonesia that is named A. sundaicus E. The phylogenetic and demographic analyses suggest that the three species were separated during the Early Pleistocene (1.8-0.78 Myr) and experienced bottlenecks followed by a genetic expansion in more recent times. Based on the results and knowledge of the biogeography of the area, we hypothesise that the combination of cyclical island and refugium creation was the cause of lineage isolation and bottleneck events during the Pleistocene. [less ▲]

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See detailMandibles and molars of the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus (L.): integrated latitudinal pattern and mosaic insular evolution
Renaud, Sabrina; Michaux, Johan ULg

in Journal of Biogeography (2007), 34(2), 339-355

Aim The distinct nature of island populations has traditionally been attributed either to adaptation to particular insular conditions or to random genetic effects. In order to assess the relative ... [more ▼]

Aim The distinct nature of island populations has traditionally been attributed either to adaptation to particular insular conditions or to random genetic effects. In order to assess the relative importance of these two disparate processes, insular effects were addressed in the European wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus (Linnaeus, 1758). Location Wood mice from 33 localities on both mainland and various Atlantic and western Mediterranean islands were considered. This sampling covers only part of the latitudinal range of A. sylvaticus but included the two main genetic clades identified by previous studies. Islands encompass a range of geographical conditions (e.g. small islands fringing the continent through large and isolated ones). Methods The insular syndrome primarily invokes variations in body size, but ecological factors such as release from competition, niche widening and food availability should also influence other characters related to diet. In the present study, the morphology of the wood mice was quantified based on two characters involved in feeding: the size and shape of the mandibles and first upper molars. The size of the mandible is also a proxy for the body size of the animal. Patterns of morphological differentiation of both features were estimated using twodimensional outline analysis based on Fourier methods. Results Significant differences between mainland and island populations were observed in most cases for both the mandibles and molars. However, molars and mandibles displayed divergent patterns. Mandible shape diverged mostly on islands of intermediate remoteness and competition levels, whereas molars exhibited the greatest shape differentiation on small islands, such as Port-Cros and Porquerolles. A mosaic pattern was also displayed for size. Body and mandible size increased on Ibiza, but molar size remained similar to mainland populations. Mosaic patterns were, however, not apparent in the mainland populations. Congruent latitudinal variations were evident for the size and shape of both mandibles and molars. Main conclusions Mosaic evolution appears to characterize insular divergence. The molar seems to be more prone to change with reduced population size on small islands, whereas the mandible could be more sensitive to peculiar environmental conditions on large and remote islands. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular phylogeny of the Cricetinae subfamily based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b and 12S rRNA genes and the nuclear vWF gene
Neumann, K.; Michaux, Johan ULg; Lebedev, V. et al

in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2006), 39(1), 135-148

Despite some popularity of hamsters as pets and laboratory animals there is no reliable phylogeny of the subfamily Cricetinae available so far. Contradicting views exist not only about the actual number ... [more ▼]

Despite some popularity of hamsters as pets and laboratory animals there is no reliable phylogeny of the subfamily Cricetinae available so far. Contradicting views exist not only about the actual number of species but also concerning the validity of several genera. We used partial DNA sequences of two mitochondrial (cytochrome b, 12S rRNA) and one partial nuclear gene (von Willebrand Factor exon 28) to provide a first gene tree of the Cricetinae based on 15 taxa comprising six genera: According to our data, Palaearctic hamsters fall into three distinct phylogenetic groups: Phodopits, Mesocricetus, and Cricetus-related species which evolved during the late Miocene about 7-12 MY ago. Surprisingly, the genus Phodopus, which was previously thought to have appeared during the Pleistocene, forms the oldest clade. The largest number of extant hamster genera is found in a group of Cricetus-related hamsters. The genus Cricetulus itself proved to be not truly monophyletic with Cricetulus migratorius appearing more closely related to Tscherskia, Cricetus, and Allocricetulus. We propose to place the species within a new monotypic genus. Molecular clock calculations are not always in line with the dating of fossil records. DNA based divergence time estimates as well as taxonomic relationships demand a reevaluation of morphological characters previously used to identify fossils and extant hamsters. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailParasites and the island syndrome: the colonization of the western Mediterranean islands by Heligmosomoides polygyrus (Dujardin, 1845)
Nieberding, Caroline M. ULg; Morand, S.; Libois, Roland ULg et al

in Journal of Biogeography (2006), 33(7), 1212-1222

Aim Populations of free-living vertebrates on islands frequently differ from their mainland counterparts by a series of changes in morphometric, life-history, behavioural, physiological and genetic traits ... [more ▼]

Aim Populations of free-living vertebrates on islands frequently differ from their mainland counterparts by a series of changes in morphometric, life-history, behavioural, physiological and genetic traits, collectively referred to as the 'island syndrome'. It is not known, however, whether the 'island syndrome' also affects parasitic organisms. The present study establishes the colonization pattern of the Mediterranean islands by the nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus, a direct and specific parasite of rodent hosts of the Apodemus genus, and evaluates the effects of island colonization by this species on two components of the island syndrome: the loss of genetic diversity and the enlargement of the ecological niche. Location Heligmosomoides polygyrus was sampled on seven western Mediterranean islands - Corsica, Crete, Elba, Majorca, Minorca, Sardinia and Sicily - as well as in 20 continental locations covering the Mediterranean basin. Methods The mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (690 base pairs) was sequenced in 166 adult H. polygyrus individuals sampled in the 27 continental and island locations. Phylogenetic reconstructions in distance, parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian posterior probabilities were carried out on the whole cytochrome b gene data set. The levels of nucleotide, haplotype and genetic divergence (Kimura two-parameter distance estimator) diversities were estimated in each island population and in the various continental lineages. Results Phylogenetic reconstructions show that the mainland origins of H. polygyrus were continental Spain for the Balearic Islands (Majorca, Minorca), northern Italy for the Tyrrhenian Islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Elba), southern Italy for Sicily, and the Balkan region for Crete. A comparison of island H. polygyrus populations with their mainland source populations revealed two characteristic components of the island syndrome in this parasite. First, island H. polygyrus populations display a significant loss of genetic diversity, which is related (r(2) = 0.73) to the distance separating the island from the mainland source region. Second, H. polygyrus exhibits a niche enlargement following insularization. Indeed, H. polygyrus in Corsica is present in both A. sylvaticus and Mus musculus domesticus, while mainland H. polygyrus populations are present exclusively in Apodemus hosts. Main conclusions Our results show that H. polygyrus has undergone a loss of genetic diversity and a niche (host) enlargement following colonization of the western Mediterranean islands. To our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence for components of the 'island syndrome' in a parasitic nematode species. [less ▲]

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See detailA northern glacial refugium for bank voles (Clethrionomys glareolus).
Kotlìk, Petr; Deffontaine Deurbroeck, Valérie ULg; Mascheretti, Silvia et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2006), 103(40), 14860-14864

There is controversy and uncertainty on how far north there were glacial refugia for temperate species during the Pleistocene glaciations and in the extent of the contribution of such refugia to present ... [more ▼]

There is controversy and uncertainty on how far north there were glacial refugia for temperate species during the Pleistocene glaciations and in the extent of the contribution of such refugia to present-day populations. We examined these issues using phylogeographic analysis of a European woodland mammal, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus). A Bayesian coalescence analysis indicates that a bank vole population survived the height of the last glaciation (≈25,000–10,000 years B.P.) in the vicinity of the Carpathians, a major central European mountain chain well north of the Mediterranean areas typically regarded as glacial refugia for temperate species. Parameter estimates from the fitted isolation with migration model show that the divergence of the Carpathian population started at least 22,000 years ago, and it was likely followed by only negligible immigration from adjacent regions, suggesting the persistence of bank voles in the Carpathians through the height of the last glaciation. On the contrary, there is clear evidence for gene flow out of the Carpathians, demonstrating the contribution of the Carpathian population to the colonization of Europe after the Pleistocene. These findings are consistent with data from animal and plant fossils recovered in the Carpathians and provide the clearest phylogeographic evidence to date of a northern glacial refugium for temperate species in Europe. [less ▲]

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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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See detailBeyond the Mediterranean peninsulas: evidence of central European glacial refugia for a temperate forest mammal species, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus).
Deffontaine Deurbroeck, Valérie ULg; Libois, Roland ULg; Kotlík, Petr et al

in Molecular Ecology (2005), 14(6), 1727-1739

This study details the phylogeographic pattern of the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus, a European rodent species strongly associated with forest habitat. We used sequences of 1011 base pairs of the ... [more ▼]

This study details the phylogeographic pattern of the bank vole, Clethrionomys glareolus, a European rodent species strongly associated with forest habitat. We used sequences of 1011 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b gene from 207 bank voles collected in 62 localities spread throughout its distribution area. Our results reveal the presence of three Mediterranean (Spanish, Italian and Balkan) and three continental (western, eastern and 'Ural') phylogroups. The endemic Mediterranean phylogroups did not contribute to the postglacial recolonization of much of the Palaearctic range of species. Instead, the major part of this region was apparently recolonized by bank voles that survived in glacial refugia in central Europe. Moreover, our phylogeographic analyses also reveal differentiated populations of bank voles in the Ural mountains and elsewhere, which carry the mitochondrial DNA of another related vole species, the ruddy vole (Clethrionomys rutilus). In conclusion, this study demonstrates a complex phylogeographic history for a forest species in Europe which is sufficiently adaptable that, facing climate change, survives in relict southern and northern habitats. The high level of genetic diversity characterizing vole populations from parts of central Europe also highlights the importance of such regions as a source of intraspecific genetic biodiversity. [less ▲]

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See detailPhylogeography of a nematode (Heligmosomoides polygyrus) in the western Palearctic region: persistence of northern cryptic populations during ice ages?
Nieberding, Caroline M. ULg; Libois, Roland ULg; Douady, C. J. et al

in Molecular Ecology (2005), 14(3), 765-79

This study establishes the continental phylogeographical pattern of a European nematode, Heligmosomoides polygyrus (Dujardin, 1845; Heligmosomoidea). We sequenced 687 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA ... [more ▼]

This study establishes the continental phylogeographical pattern of a European nematode, Heligmosomoides polygyrus (Dujardin, 1845; Heligmosomoidea). We sequenced 687 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cyt b gene for 136 individuals collected in 22 localities. The results revealed that H. polygyrus populations are separated into five major units corresponding to the Italian, northern European (Denmark and Ireland), Iberian, western European, and Balkan populations. Different subclades were also observed within the first two groups. Based on the rate of molecular evolution of H. polygyrus cyt b gene-estimated to 3.5%-3.7% divergence per million years (Myr) in a previous study--the isolation time of the five clades was estimated between 2.5 +/- 0.24 and 1.5 +/- 0.23 million years ago. Moreover, H. polygyrus presents a higher genetic variability in the Mediterranean peninsulas as compared to northwestern Europe, highlighting the role of these regions as refuge areas. Like its specific host, the wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus, H. polygyrus' pattern of postglacial recolonization of northwestern Europe was initiated from Iberian populations, while Italian and Balkan populations did not expand to the north. The results also suggest the existence of forested and temperate refuges in the southern British Isles during the Quaternary. Finally, the genetic diversity as well as the level of genetic divergence between the lineages of H. polygyrus are compared to those observed in other vertebrate and invertebrate phylogeographical studies: the existence of highly differentiated lineages in H. polygyrus (5%-10% of genetic divergence) highlights that the effects of Pleistocene climate changes on free-living organisms are also reflected in their obligate parasites. [less ▲]

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See detailPhylogeography of Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) in the Eastern North Atlantic and in the Black Sea Explored by the Analyses of Nuclear and Mitochondrial DNA
Fontaine, Michaël; Baird, C.; Stuart, J. E. et al

Poster (2005)

Study of the genetic population structure and the demographic history of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) has been nearly comprehensive throughout its distribution in North Atlantic, most studies ... [more ▼]

Study of the genetic population structure and the demographic history of the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) has been nearly comprehensive throughout its distribution in North Atlantic, most studies using the mitochondrial control region as a genetic marker. Although these studies have shown population structure in some parts of the North Atlantic, mitochondrial DNA is a single, maternally inherited locus and therefore insufficient to fully characterize population structure and history. Polymorphism at 11 microsatellite loci was analyzed in harbour porpoises collected throughout the range of the species in the Central and Eastern North Atlantic from the Iberian peninsula northward to Arctic waters (Portugal, Spain, bay of Biscay, Irish waters, English Channel, the southern bay of the North Sea, Norway, Faroe Islands, and Iceland) and also along the coasts of the Black Sea (Turkey, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Georgia). Multilocus tests for allele frequency differences and population structure estimates indicate complete genetic isolation between Atlantic and Black Sea porpoises. No fine population structure was observed within the Black Sea, and this population displayed a low genetic diversity compared to those of Atlantic. These results can be interpreted in the light of the demographic history of this relict population and the strong founder effect and bottleneck it may have undergone in its past evolution. In Eastern North Atlantic waters, microsatellite data revealed fine scale partitioning of the genetic variation. These results will be compared to the pattern previously reported based on the analysis of the mtDNA control region, and seem to correlate with variation in oceanographic features. [less ▲]

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See detailSo close and so different: comparative phylogeography of two small mammal species, the yellow-necked fieldmouse (Apodemus flavicollis) and the woodmouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) in the Western Palearctic region.
Michaux, Johan ULg; Libois, Roland ULg; Filippucci, M*-G

in Heredity (2005), 94(1), 52-63

In Europe, concordant geographical distribution among genetic lineages within different species is rare, which suggests distinct reactions to Quaternary ice ages. This study aims to determine whether such ... [more ▼]

In Europe, concordant geographical distribution among genetic lineages within different species is rare, which suggests distinct reactions to Quaternary ice ages. This study aims to determine whether such a discrepancy also affects a pair of sympatric species, which are morphologically and taxonomically closely related but which have slight differences in their ecological habits. The phylogeographic structures of two European rodents, the Yellow-necked fieldmouse (A. flavicollis) and the woodmouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) were, therefore, compared on the basis of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b (mtDNA cyt b) sequences (965 base pairs) from 196 specimens collected from 59 European localities spread throughout the species distributions. The results indicate that the two species survived in different ways through the Quaternary glaciations. A. sylvaticus survived in the Iberian Peninsula from where it recolonized almost all Europe at the end of the last glaciation. Conversely, the refuge from which A. flavicollis recolonized Europe, including northern Spain, during the Holocene corresponds to the Italo-Balkan area, where A. sylvaticus suffered a serious genetic bottleneck. This study confirms that even closely related species may have highly different phylogeographic histories and shows the importance of ecological plasticity of the species for their survival through climate change. Finally, it suggests that phylogeographic distinctiveness may be a general feature of European species. [less ▲]

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