Get access

Large sequence divergence of mitochondrial DNA genotypes of the control region within populations of the African antelope, kob (Kobus kob)

Authors

  • J. Birungi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Zoological Institute, Department of Population Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark,
    2. Makerere University Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, PO Box 10066, Kampala, Uganda
    Search for more papers by this author
  • P. Arctander

    1. Zoological Institute, Department of Population Biology, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark,
    Search for more papers by this author

Josephine Birungi. Yale School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, 60 College St. LEPH 708, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Fax: +203–785–7552; E-mail:Josephine.Birungi@yale.edu

Abstract

The genetic differentiation among kob populations (Kobus kob) representing two recognized subspecies was examined using mitochondrial control region sequences. Two distinct lineages (estimated sequence divergence of 9.8%) exhibited different geographical distributions and do not coincide with previously recognized ranges of subspecies. The presence of the two lineages was further supported with sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. One lineage was predominant in the west and southern ranges of the populations studied and the other was commonly found in a more northern distribution (Murchison populations) in Uganda. Murchison and the geographically intermediate Toro populations (Uganda) represented the area of overlap. The existence of the two lineages in the area of overlap is hypothesized to have resulted from a range expansion and secondary contact of the two lineages of kob that evolved in allopatry. The existence of the kob during the Pleistocene offers a plausible explanation for the observed biogeographic pattern. Our mitochondrial data reveal two examples of discordance between a gene tree and presumed species tree as: (i) the two lineages co-occur in the kob subspecies, Kobus kob thomasi (Uganda kob); and (ii) the puku, which was included in the analysis because of its controversial taxonomic status (currently recognized as a distinct species from the kob), is paraphyletic with respect to the kob. Significant degrees of heterogeneity were detected between populations. Relatively high genetic variation was observed in the populations, however, the inclusion of distinct lineages influences the population structure and nucleotide diversity of the kob populations.

Ancillary