Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 496873
Title Autosomal and mtDNA markers affirm the distinctiveness of lions in West and Central Africa
Author(s) Bertola, L.D.; Tensen, Laura; Hooft, Pim Van; White, P.A.; Driscoll, C.A.; Henschel, Philipp; Caragiulo, Anthony; Dias-Freedman, Isabela; Sogbohossou, E.A.; Tumenta, Pricelia N.; Jirmo, T.H.; Snoo, G.R. De; Iongh, H.H. De; Vrieling, Klaas
Source PLoS One 10 (2015)10. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 15 p.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137975
Department(s) Resource Ecology
PE&RC
Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2015
Abstract The evolutionary history of a species is key for understanding the taxonomy and for the design of effective management strategies for species conservation. The knowledge about the phylogenetic position of the lion (Panthera leo) in West/Central Africa is largely based on mitochondrial markers. Previous studies using mtDNA only have shown this region to hold a distinct evolutionary lineage. In addition, anthropogenic factors have led to a strong decline in West/Central African lion numbers, thus, the conservation value of these populations is particularly high. Here, we investigate whether autosomal markers are concordant with previously described phylogeographic patterns, and confirm the unique position of the West/Central African lion. Analysis of 20 microsatellites and 1,454 bp of the mitochondrial DNA in 16 lion populations representing the entire geographic range of the species found congruence in both types of markers, identifying four clusters: 1) West/Central Africa, 2) East Africa, 3) Southern Africa and 4) India. This is not in line with the current taxonomy, as defined by the IUCN, which only recognizes an African and an Asiatic subspecies. There are no indications that genetic diversity in West/Central Africa lions is lower than in either East or Southern Africa, however, given this genetic distinction and the recent declines of lion numbers in this region, we strongly recommend prioritization of conservation projects in West/Central Africa. As the current taxonomic nomenclature does not reflect the evolutionary history of the lion, we suggest that a taxonomic revision of the lion is warranted.
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