Article: article from journal or magazin.
Phylogeographic patterning of mtDNA in the widely distributed harvest mouse (Micromys minutus) suggests dramatic cycles of range contraction and expansion during the mid- to late Pleistocene
Canadian Journal of Zoology
We examined sequence variation in the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (1140 bp, n = 73) and control region (842-851 bp, n = 74) in the Eurasian harvest mouse (Micromys minutus (Pallas, 1771)), with samples drawn from across its range, from Western Europe to Japan. Phylogeographic analyses revealed region-specific haplotype groupings combined with overall low levels of inter-regional genetic divergence. Despite the enormous intervening distance, European and East Asian samples showed a net nucleotide divergence of only 0.36%. Based on an evolutionary rate for the cytochrome b gene of 2.4%(.)(site(.)lineage(.)million years)(-1), the initial divergence time of these populations is estimated at around 80 000 years before present. Our findings are consistent with available fossil evidence that has recorded repeated cycles of extinction and recolonization of Europe by M. minutus through the Quaternary. The molecular data further suggest that recolonization occurred from refugia in the Central to East Asian region. Japanese haplotypes of M. minutus, with the exception of those from Tsushima Is., show limited nucleotide diversity (0.15%) compared with those found on the adjacent Korean Peninsula. This finding suggests recent colonization of the Japanese Archipelago, probably around the last glacial period, followed by rapid population growth.
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