Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences reveals polyphyly in the goitred gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa)

مستخلص المنشور: 

Goitred gazelle (Gazella subgutturosa) rank among the most endangered mammals on the Arabian
Peninsula and the Asian steppes. Past conservation efforts have been plagued by confusion about the phylogenetic
relationship among various—phenotypically discernable— populations, and even the question of species boundaries
was far from being certain. This lack of knowledge had a direct impact on conservation measures, especially ex situ
breeding programmes, hampering the assignment of captive stocks to potential conservation units. Here, we provide
a phylogenetic framework, based on the analysis of mtDNA sequences of a number of individuals collected
from the wild and captivity throughout the species’ natural range. Our analyses revealed a polyphyly within the presumed
species of G. subgutturosa resulting in two distinct clades: one on the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Jordan, Syria
and Turkey (Gazella marica; sand gazelle) and one genetically diverse larger clade from the rest of its Asian
range (G. subgutturosa; goitred gazelle). Additionally, we provide a quick method (PCR-RFLP) to analyse the taxonomic
affiliation of captive gazelles that will be used for re-introductions into the wild.

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