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Phylogeography of the leaf beetle Chrysolina virgata in wetlands of Japan inferred from the distribution of mitochondrial haplotypes


Teiji Sota, Department of Zoology, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8502 Japan. Email:


The genetic differentiation among populations of the leaf beetle Chrysolina virgata living in wetlands of Japan was studied based on the sequence data of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene region (750 bp). Two distinct lineages of mitochondrial haplotypes were found: one (clade A) consisted of 26 haplotypes distributed over the distribution range of C. virgata between north-east Honshu and Kyushu, whereas the other (clade B) was monotypic and confined to a small region in north-east Honshu where it coexisted with clade A. Nested clade analysis for these haplotypes suggested that range expansion and following differentiation due to isolation by distance might have resulted in the present distribution pattern of the haplotypes in clade A. We discuss the evolutionary process leading to the occurrence of two distinct haplotype clades in Japan in terms of repeated colonization from the continent and range expansion and contraction during climatic changes.

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