Genetic relationship among Japanese sables, Martes zibellina and the introduced Japanese martens, Martes melampus in northern Japan was revealed by analyzing a 521-524bp DNA sequence from the cytochrome b (112bp)/transfer RNA-threonine (67bp)/tRNA-proline (65bp) and control region (277-280bp) of the mitochondrial genome. Intraspecific differences in sequences of M. zibellina and M. melampus (3.8-15.0% and 1.9-16.4%, respectively) were similar to interspecific differences between these two species (5.8-16.6%). Comparison of sequence data exhibited five haplotypes of M. melampus and four haplotypes of M. zibellina, which clustered into two groups (clusters-A and-B). Cluster-A included two haplotypes of M. melampus and two haplotypes of M. zibellina, whereas cluster-B included three haplotypes of M. melampus and two haplotypes of M. zibellina. Results of this study lead three possible explanations. Firstly, past hybridization between M. zibellina and M. melampus might have occurred. Secondary, these two species might have similar heteroplasmy of mt DNA. Thirdly, these haplotypes might have come from nuclear genome. Although further intensive studies are needed to make a conclusion, detection of hybridization with the Japanese marten are occurred or not is quite important to conserve the Japanese sable.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2004|
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