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Ecol Evol. 2014 Jul;4(13):2668-74. doi: 10.1002/ece3.1116. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Dual phylogenetic origins of Nigerian lions (Panthera leo).

Author information

  • 1A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute P.O. Box 13404, Jos, Nigeria ; Department of Biology, Lund University Ecology Building, Lund, SE-223 62, Sweden.
  • 2Department of Biology, Lund University Ecology Building, Lund, SE-223 62, Sweden.
  • 3A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute P.O. Box 13404, Jos, Nigeria.

Abstract

Lion fecal DNA extracts from four individuals each from Yankari Game Reserve and Kainji-Lake National Park (central northeast and west Nigeria, respectively) were Sanger-sequenced for the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The sequences were aligned against 61 lion reference sequences from other parts of Africa and India. The sequence data were analyzed further for the construction of phylogenetic trees using the maximum-likelihood approach to depict phylogenetic patterns of distribution among sequences. Our results show that Nigerian lions grouped together with lions from West and Central Africa. At the smaller geographical scale, lions from Kainji-Lake National Park in western Nigeria grouped with lions from Benin (located west of Nigeria), whereas lions from Yankari Game Reserve in central northeastern Nigeria grouped with the lion populations in Cameroon (located east of Nigeria). The finding that the two remaining lion populations in Nigeria have different phylogenetic origins is an important aspect to consider in future decisions regarding management and conservation of rapidly shrinking lion populations in West Africa.

KEYWORDS:

Dual origins; Nigerian lions; Sanger sequencing; fecal DNA

PMID:
25077018
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC4113291
Free PMC Article
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