Molecular evidence for deep phylogenetic divergence in Mandrillus sphinx


Paul T. Telfer. Fax: + 241 677295; E-mail:


Mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx) are forest primates indigenous to western central Africa. Phylogenetic analysis of 267 base pairs (bp) of the cytochrome b gene from 53 mandrills of known and 17 of unknown provenance revealed two phylogeographical groups, with haplotypes differentiated by 2.6% comprising seven synonymous transitions. The distribution of the haplotypes suggests that the Ogooué River, Gabon, which bisects their range, separates mandrill populations in Cameroon and northern Gabon from those in southern Gabon. The haplotype distribution is also concordant with that of two known mandrill simian immunodeficiency viruses, suggesting that these two mandrill phylogroups have followed different evolutionary trajectories since separation.