RESEARCH PAPER
Population genetic structure of blacks rats in an urban environment: a case study in Cotonou, Benin
 
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1
Ecole Polytechnique d’Abomey-Calavi, Laboratoire de Recherche en Biologie Appliquée, Unité de Recherche sur les Invasions Biologiques, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Benin
2
Centre de Biologie pour la Gestion des Populations, IRD, CIRAD, INRAE, Montpellier SupAgro, Univ. Montpellier, Montpellier, France
3
Faculté des Sciences et Techniques (FAST), Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire et d’Analyses des Génomes, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Benin
4
Laboratoire de Biogéographie et d’expertise environnementale / Institut de Géographie, d’Aménagement du Territoire et d’Environnement, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Benin
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Sylvestre Adjakou Badou   

Ecole Polytechnique d’Abomey-Calavi, Laboratoire de Recherche en Biologie Appliquée, Unité de Recherche sur les Invasions Biologiques, Université d’Abomey-Calavi, Cotonou, Benin
Online publication date: 2021-08-17
Publication date: 2021-08-17
 
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2021;32(2):0
 
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ABSTRACT
The cosmopolitan black rat, Rattus rattus, has invaded many cities throughout the world. Although the species is responsible for major damages to food stocks and crops and is involved in the maintenance, circulation and transmission of many zoonotic pathogens to humans and animals, a lot remains to be known about its eco-evolutionary characteristics, especially in highly modified environments like the urban habitat. In particular, very few studies were conducted on the genetic structure of urban black rat populations, which is yet a prerequisite for defining effective management units. Here, we focus on the population genetics of Rattus rattus in Cotonou, Benin. Forty different localities were sampled throughout the city and 457 individuals were genotyped using 18 microsatellite markers. Our results reveal two poorly distinguishable but significant genetic clusters, one of each side of Cotonou channel, that tend to homogenize into a single group due to probable gene flow between the two shores. Implications in terms of management units and rodent control are discussed.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We are very grateful to all people that have accepted to give us access to their households and lots for sampling. Sylvestre Badou was granted a Doctoral Research Fellowship (ARTS) by IRD (2019--2022). In 2015, Gualbert Houéménou benefitted from an international mobility supported by the Abomey-Calavi Polytechnic Higher School (EPAC). IRD funded the study, partly through its supportive grants to the young associated research group "Biological Invasions in West Africa" (JEAI IBAO). Data used in this work were produced through the genotyping and sequencing facilities of Labex CeMEB mutualized GenSeq platform (Mediterranean Center for Environment and Biodiversity, Genotyping-Sequencing Platform).
eISSN:1825-5272
ISSN:0394-1914