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Genes Genet Syst. 2001 Aug;76(4):229-34.

Molecular phylogeny of butterflies Parnassius glacialis and P. stubbendorfii at various localities in East Asia.

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Research Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Japan.


The phylogeny of butterflies, Parnassius stubbendorfii and P. glacialis, collected at various localities in the Japan archipelago and the eastern part of the Asian continent was analyzed using mitochondrial DNA sequences coding for NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (805 bp). The molecular phylogenetic trees revealed that P. glacialis and P. stubbendorfii diverged from a common ancestor, and then the populations inhabiting the Japan archipelago and the Asian continent diverged in each species. The reliability of these divergences was supported by high bootstrap values. The divergences within the Japan archipelago and within the Asian continent in each species were unclear because of low bootstrap values. The genetic distance and a rough time-estimation in the UPGMA tree suggest that the both populations of P. glacialis and P. stubbendorfii may have been isolated in the Japan archipelago at the early time (about 1.7-2.0 Mya) of the glacial period in the Pleistocene. The genetic distance between the Japanese and the continental subspecies may be large enough that they can be classified as different species, in comparison with the genetic distances among some other parnassian species.

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