Allozyme Variability among Populations of Three Species of Brush-Furred Mice (Lophuromys, Rodentia, Muridae) from the Bale Mountains National Park (Ethiopia)

Allozyme Variability among Populations of Three Species of Brush-Furred Mice (Lophuromys,... Allozyme variability was examined in populations of three endemic species of the species complex Lophuromys flavopunctatussensu lato: L. chrysopus, L. brevicaudus, and L. melanonyx. These species replace each other in adjacent altitudinal belts of the Bale Massif in Ethiopia. A deficit of heterozygotes at several loci was found in most samples of all species studied. Moreover, the samples included animals homozygous for two or three minor alleles and heterozygous for alleles that are rare and unique for the given species. It is suggested that the Bale Massif are inhabited by numerous genetically isolated populations of eachLophuromys species, which exchange genes at an extremely low rate. Genotypic disequilibrium observed in most samples is explained by the fact that most sampling localities comprise ranges of two and more micropopulations. In our view, microgeographic subdivision of the populations is caused by recurrent fragmentation of habitats during the Pleistocene glaciation of the Bale Massif and subsequent prolonged isolation of local populations. Gene drift accompanying these processes resulted in high genetic differentiation of the local populations, which probably persisted until the present. Geographical isolation of the Bale Massif, its uniquely diverse ecological conditions, and extraordinary allozyme structure of the Lophuromys populations suggest that these populations represent remnants or direct descendants of relic local populations. Russian Journal of Genetics Springer Journals

Allozyme Variability among Populations of Three Species of Brush-Furred Mice (Lophuromys, Rodentia, Muridae) from the Bale Mountains National Park (Ethiopia)

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Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright © 2000 by MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica”
Biomedicine; Human Genetics
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