Revised classification design of the Anatolian species of Nannospalax (Rodentia: Spalacidae) using RFLP analysis


Abstract: Genetic differences in 2 regions (D-loop and cytochrome b) of mitochondrial DNA in Nannospalax xanthodon and Nannospalax ehrenbergi were determined using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. For 2 species distributed in Anatolia, 94 specimens from 62 populations of Nannospalax xanthodon and 2 populations of Nannospalax ehrenbergi were studied. To reveal genetic differences, the D-loop (626 bp) and cytochrome b (500 bp) regions of mitochondrial DNA were amplified and then cut by 4 different restriction endonuclease enzymes (BamH-I, Taq-I, Alu-I, and Msp-I). RFLP analysis revealed 4 haplotypes for the D-loop region and 8 haplotypes for the cytochrome b region in 94 specimens. According to the results of this study, N. nehringi, which is distributed in eastern Anatolia, is a valid species and not a synonym of N. xanthodon. A total of 2 additional species (N. nehringi and N. labaumei) occur with N. xanthodon and N. ehrenbergi; thus, Anatolian blind mole rats cannot be represented by only 2 species.

Keywords: Nannospalax, mtDNA, Turkey

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