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Little genetic divergence of the greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum from far-eastern Asia, with a preliminary report on genetic differentiation of R. ferrumequinum from Eurasia and northern Africa examined from cytochrome b sequences
Koh H.S., Jo J.E., Oh J.G., Kweon G.H., Ahn N.H., Sin W.H., Sin D.S.
P. 97-103
We obtained cytochrome b complete sequences (1140 bp) of the greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum from Korea (Jeju Island and mainland Korea), and these sequences were compared to corresponding sequences of R. ferrumequinum, obtained from GenBank, in order to examine genetic divergence among populations within R. ferrumequinum from far-eastern Asia and other parts of the range. Specimens from four populations in far-eastern Asia (Jeju, mainland Korea, northeastern China, and Japan) formed a far-eastern clade and were little differentiated, indicating that our results support a former subspecies classification, recognized R. f. korai and R. f. quelpartis as synonyms of R. f. nippon. In addition, we found that the eastern China clade from Henan is genetically distinct from the far-eastern clade, although individuals from Japan, northeastern China, and eastern China are known as R. f. nippon, and we propose further analyses with additional specimens from China to examine whether or not the eastern China clade is a subpopulation within R. f. nippon. On the other hand, R. ferrumequinum from Eurasia and northern Africa was found to be composed of four clades (far-eastern Asia, eastern China, central China, and western Asia – Europe – northern Africa), and average nucleotide distances between the first and other three clades were 2.15%, 4.10%, and 5.37% respectively. Thus, we found that genetic distances between these clades are correlated with geographic distances between them, and we concluded that further analysis of cytochrome b and other markers from additional specimens of R. ferrumequinum across distributional range is necessary to reexamine its population structure and subspecies classification.

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