It is rather difficult to construct a system of gray voles of the tribe Microtini by a set of morphological and karyological characters because form generation is mosaic at these organization levels. The sequence of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene was used to study the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic position of the Central Asian subgenus Blanfordimys. Afghan vole Microtus (Blanfordimys) afghanus and Bucharian vole M. (Blanfordimys) bucharensis clustered with Pamir vole M. (Neodon) juldaschi, which is conventionally assigned to another subgenus. The last two species proved to be significantly closer to each other than either of them was to M. (Blanfordimys) afghanus, which disagrees with the monophyletic origin accepted for Blanfordimys. The genetic distances between the species of the subgenus Blanfordmys and M. juldaschi were comparable with the distances between the sister subgenera Microtus s. str. and Sumeriomys or Pallasiinus and Alexandromys and with the basal divergence of supraspecific clades in the subgenus Terricola. It was assumed that a special Central Asian group of species exists within the tribe Microtini and includes species of the subgenus Blanfordimys and M. juldaschi and that the subgenera Neodon and Blanfordimys should be revised.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 8, 2009
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