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Cytochrome b haplotype divergences in West European Apodemus
Sequencing of the cytochrome b mitochondrial gene (732 base pairs) in samples of Apodemus sylvaticus from Central Europe (eastern France, Switzerland, southern Germany and western Austria) revealed significant molecular variation not reflected in previous morphological and genetic studies of this species. A comparison with the sequences (150 bp) of 54 specimens available from GenBank (NCBI) showed that two problematic individuals originating from southern Germany have to be assigned to A. fulvipectus, a species not yet known in western Europe. A. sylvaticus specimens (n = 14) sampled north of the Alps exhibited a maximum intraspecific sequence divergence of about 5.1%, whereas the maximum divergence is much Lower in A. flavicollis (1%, n = 5) and in A. alpicola (0.5%, n = 4), although the samples originate from a similar geographic range of about 350 km. We also found a high rate of erroneously assigned specimens in GenBank, which indicates that the discrimination of Apodemus species remains a problem and requires further investigations.
apodemus sylvaticus apodemus fulvipectus molecular phylogeny cytochrome b genus apodemus mitochondrial-DNA a-flavicollis wood mouse clethrionomys-glareolus molecular phylogeny evolutionary rates genetic-divergence allozyme variation rodentia
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