Mitochondrial evidence indicates a shallow phylogeographic structurefor Jaculus blanfordi (Murray, 1884) populations (Rodentia: Dipodidae)


Abstract: Our study was performed on the phylogeographic structure of Blanford's jerboa (Jaculus blanfordi (Murray, 1884)) collected from nine localities in Iran, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan and was based on mitochondrial evidence indicating a slight phylogeographic divergence among the populations. We aimed to amplify two frequently used mitochondrial markers, cytochrome b (cyt b) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) fragments, from 33 specimens obtained from the abovementioned countries. Our phylogeographic analyses uncovered two distinct groups, thus supporting the presence of two subspecies: J. b. blanfordi in Iran and J. b. turcmenicus in northern Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Finally, we discuss the intraspecies genetic structure of Blanford?s jerboa in relation to the biogeography of the Middle East and Middle Asia.

Keywords: Blanford's jerboa, Jaculus, Middle Asia, Middle East, phylogeography

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