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Diversity and molecular phylogeny of mitochondrial DNA of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in Bangladesh

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Abstract

While studies of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) in the eastern (e.g., China) and western (e.g., India) parts of their geographic range have revealed major genetic differences that warrant the recognition of two different subspecies, little is known about genetic characteristics of rhesus macaques in the transitional zone extending from eastern India and Bangladesh through the northern part of Indo-China, the probable original homeland of the species. We analyzed genetic variation of 762 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA from 86 fecal swab samples and 19 blood samples from 25 local populations of rhesus macaque in Bangladesh collected from January 2010 to August 2012. These sequences were compared with those of rhesus macaques from India, China, and Myanmar. Forty-six haplotypes defined by 200 (26%) polymorphic nucleotide sites were detected. Estimates of gene diversity, expected heterozygosity, and nucleotide diversity for the total population were 0.9599 ± 0.0097, 0.0193 ± 0.0582, and 0.0196 ± 0.0098, respectively. A mismatch distribution of paired nucleotide differences yielded a statistically significantly negative value of Tajima's D, reflecting a population that rapidly expanded after the terminal Pleistocene. Most haplotypes throughout regions of Bangladesh, including an isolated region in the southwestern area (Sundarbans), clustered with haplotypes assigned to the minor haplogroup Ind-2 from India reflecting an east to west dispersal of rhesus macaques to India. Haplotypes from the southeast region of Bangladesh formed a cluster with those from Myanmar, and represent the oldest rhesus macaque haplotypes of Bangladesh. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that rhesus macaques first entered Bangladesh from the southeast, probably from Indo-China, then dispersed westward throughout eastern and central India. Am. J. Primatol. 76:1094–1104, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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