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Molecular techniques reveal cryptic diversity of African Crocidura hirta-flavescens species complex (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)


KONEČNÝ Adam DIANAT Malahatosadat NICOLAS-COLIN Violaine BUREŠ Michal BRYJA Josef

Rok publikování 2019
Druh Konferenční abstrakty
Popis White-toothed shrews of the genus Crocidura are with almost two hundred species the most diverse mammalian genus. Due to their high diversity, morphological similarity and hiding life-style, Crocidura shrews are one of the least known and taxonomically complicated Old World mammals. In our contribution we present molecular phylogeny of the East and South African C. hirta-flavescens species complex – an Afrotropical Crocidura clade mostly from open habitats, phylogenetically sister to widely distributed sub-Saharan giant shrews of the C. olivieri species complex. Based on molecular analysis (maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches) of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences and SNPs data over the whole genome (produced by ddRAD sequencing) of specimens from Ethiopia to South Africa, we identified several well-differentiated gene pools, potentially corresponding to separate species. Crocidura flavescens s. str. is distributed along South African coast, but genetically similar population was found in south-western Zambia, south of the Zambezi River. Their sister lineage is widespread in arid central Tanzania ("Massai steppe"). Crocidura hirta has wide distribution in savannah-like habitats of Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia and consists of three genetically and geographically well separated groups. Specimens from southern Ethiopia and coastal Mozambique formed two significantly distinct lineages, sister to C. hirta, and their species status is discussed (including confrontation with morphological data). Despite the fact that taxonomy of this complex will require further work, analysis of its genetic diversity can be very informative about past evolutionary processes in tropics. The research was funded by the French project MNHN - ATM Blanche 2019 and the Czech Science Foundation project No. 18-17398S.
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