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High levels of mitochondrial genetic diversity in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) from Myanmar
 
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1
Institute of Animal Science, Biotechnology and Nature Conservation, University of Debrecen
2
Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria
3
TIERplus, Linz, Austria
4
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, United Kingdom
5
Natural History Museum Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Online publish date: 2018-01-23
 
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2018;29(1)
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ABSTRACT:
We analysed mtDNA control region sequences and 11 microsatellites in 78 Asian working elephants (Elephas maximus) from two camps in Myanmar (ca. 60 km apart), which holds the second largest elephant population in Asia. We found limited heterozygosity (overall Ho and He of 0.55 and 0.59) but high mtDNA diversity (overall haplotype and nucleotide diversities of 0.89 and 0.011, respectively) due to the presence of both mitochondrial lineages (α and β) known for Asian elephants. The fact that 13 of the 23 haplotypes found in this study were novel emphasises the importance of Myanmar for the conservation of this endangered species. Both markers support the occurence of a single panmictic population in the region. Demographic tests produced some indication of a recent bottleneck in the microsatellite dataset, but the mtDNA sequences did not show either a signature of past expansion or bottlenecks.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Szilvia Kusza   
Institute of Animal Science, Biotechnology and Nature Conservation, University of Debrecen, Böszörményi str. 138, 4032 Debrecen, Hungary
eISSN:1825-5272
ISSN:0394-1914