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Genet Mol Biol. 2012 Apr;35(2):522-9. doi: 10.1590/S1415-47572012005000035. Epub 2012 May 24.

Mitochondrial genetic variability of Didelphis albiventris (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) in Brazilian localities.

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1
Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Abstract

Didelphis albiventris is a well-known and common marsupial. Due to its high adaptability, this very widespread generalist species occurs under various environmental conditions, this even including protected regions and disturbed urban areas. We studied a 653 bp fragment of cytochrome oxidase c (COI) from 93 biological samples from seven Brazilian localities, with linear distances ranging between 58 and about 1800 km to analyze the effects of geographic distances on variability and genetic differentiation. The haplotype network presented nine haplotypes and two genetic clusters compatible with the two most distant geographic areas of the states of Minas Gerais, in the southeast, and Rio Grande do Sul, in the extreme south. As each cluster was characterized by low nucleotide and high haplotype diversities, their populations were obviously composed of closely related haplotypes. Surprisingly, moderate to high F(ST) differentiation values and a very weak phylogeographic signal characterizes interpopulation comparisons within Minas Gerais interdemes, these being correlated with the presence of privative haplotypes. On a large rgeographic scale, a comparison between demes from Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul presented high F(ST) values and a robust phylogeographic pattern. This unexpected scenario implies that mtDNA gene flow was insufficient to maintain population cohesion, reflected by the observed high differentiation.

KEYWORDS:

COI; Didelphis albiventris; genetic differentiation; marsupial; variability

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