Mitochondrial phylogeography and demographic history of the Vicuña: implications for conservation

Marin, J. C. and Casey, C. S. and Kadwell, M. and Yaya, K. and Hoces, D. and Olazabal, J. and Rosadio, R. and Rodriguez, J. and Spotorno, A. and Bruford, M. W. and Wheeler, J. C. (2007) Mitochondrial phylogeography and demographic history of the Vicuña: implications for conservation. Heredity, 99 . pp. 70-80. ISSN 1365-2540

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Mitochondrial phylogeography and demographic history of the Vicuña: implications for conservation
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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/sj.hdy.6800966

Abstract

The vicuña (Vicugna vicugna; Miller, 1924) is a conservation success story, having recovered from near extinction in the 1960s to current population levels estimated at 275 000. However, lack of information about its demographic history and genetic diversity has limited both our understanding of its recovery and the development of science-based conservation measures. To examine the evolution and recent demographic history of the vicuña across its current range and to assess its genetic variation and population structure, we sequenced mitochondrial DNA from the control region (CR) for 261 individuals from 29 populations across Peru, Chile and Argentina. Our results suggest that populations currently designated as Vicugna vicugna vicugna and Vicugna vicugna mensalis comprise separate mitochondrial lineages. The current population distribution appears to be the result of a recent demographic expansion associated with the last major glacial event of the Pleistocene in the northern (18 to 22°S) dry Andes 14–12 000 years ago and the establishment of an extremely arid belt known as the 'Dry Diagonal' to 29°S. Within the Dry Diagonal, small populations of V. v. vicugna appear to have survived showing the genetic signature of demographic isolation, whereas to the north V. v. mensalis populations underwent a rapid demographic expansion before recent anthropogenic impacts.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:The vicuña (Vicugna vicugna; Miller, 1924) is a conservation success story, having recovered from near extinction in the 1960s to current population levels estimated at 275 000. However, lack of information about its demographic history and genetic diversity has limited both our understanding of its recovery and the development of science-based conservation measures. To examine the evolution and recent demographic history of the vicuña across its current range and to assess its genetic variation and population structure, we sequenced mitochondrial DNA from the control region (CR) for 261 individuals from 29 populations across Peru, Chile and Argentina. Our results suggest that populations currently designated as Vicugna vicugna vicugna and Vicugna vicugna mensalis comprise separate mitochondrial lineages. The current population distribution appears to be the result of a recent demographic expansion associated with the last major glacial event of the Pleistocene in the northern (18 to 22°S) dry Andes 14–12 000 years ago and the establishment of an extremely arid belt known as the 'Dry Diagonal' to 29°S. Within the Dry Diagonal, small populations of V. v. vicugna appear to have survived showing the genetic signature of demographic isolation, whereas to the north V. v. mensalis populations underwent a rapid demographic expansion before recent anthropogenic impacts.
Keywords:Population isolation, genetic diversity, Ecology, Evolution
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
C Biological Sciences > C432 Veterinary Genetics
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:903
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:28 Jun 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:24

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