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J Mol Evol. 1998 Mar;46(3):314-26.

Molecular phylogenetic inference of the woolly mammoth Mammuthus primigenius, based on complete sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome b and 12S ribosomal RNA genes.

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  • 1Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.


Complete sequences of cytochrome b (1,137 bases) and 12S ribosomal RNA (961 bases) genes in mitochondrial DNA were successfully determined from the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), African elephant (Loxodonta africana), and Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). From these sequence data, phylogenetic relationships among three genera were examined. Molecular phylogenetic trees reconstructed by the neighbor-joining and the maximum parsimony methods provided an identical topology both for cytochrome b and 12S rRNA genes. These results support the "Mammuthus-Loxodonta" clade, which is contrary to some previous morphological reports that Mammuthus is more closely related to Elephas than to Loxodonta.

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