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Population Structure of Plateau Pika based on Mitochondrial DNA and Microsatellite Analysis

Population Structure of Plateau Pika based on Mitochondrial DNA and Microsatellite Analysis

He Yujiao1,2, Xie Huichun1, Lin Gonghua2,3, ZhangTongzuo2,3, Su Jianping2,3 and Du Yurong1*

1Key Laboratory of Medicinal Plant and Animal Resources in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, College of Life Science, Qinghai Normal University, Xining, Qinghai, China
2Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining, Qinghai, China
3Qinghai Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Ecological Genomics, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining, Qinghai, China

*      Corresponding author: duyurong123@outlook.com

ABSTRACT

The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is widely distributed across the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and has experienced the quaternary climate and geological events of the plateau. In this study, we assessed the population patterns and the differentiation time in the plateau pika using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Analysis suggests that the differentiation within this species could be related to quaternary glaciation. We also compared the clustering analysis results generated using mtDNA versus microsatellite markers. The most obvious difference between the two markers was reflected in the fact that the populations Yelashan (YLS) and Bangda (BD) represented a separate cluster based on the microsatellite data. Additionally, our studies involving the comparison of the two markers also reveal that a few of the differentiated populations from the middle region have a higher admixture. Due to a faster mutation rate, microsatellite markers offer better insight into newer evolutionary events than mtDNA, likely resulting in the discrepancies we observe between the two markers. We suggest that combining the two different markers may be beneficial in obtaining a more complete assessment of the population genetic structure.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

October

Vol. 54, Iss. 5, Pages 2003-2500

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