Pan-African genetic structure in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) : investigating intraspecific divergence

Show simple item record Smitz, Nathalie Berthouly, Cecile Cornelis, Daniel Heller, Rasmus Van Hooft, Pim Chardonnet, Philippe Caron, Alexandre Prins, Herbert Jansen van Vuuren, Bettine J. De Iongh, Hans H. Michaux, Johan
dc.contributor.editor Hofreiter, Michael 2014-07-04T05:59:37Z 2014-07-04T05:59:37Z 2013-02-21
dc.description.abstract The African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) exhibits extreme morphological variability, which has led to controversies about the validity and taxonomic status of the various recognized subspecies. The present study aims to clarify these by inferring the pan-African spatial distribution of genetic diversity, using a comprehensive set of mitochondrial D-loop sequences from across the entire range of the species. All analyses converged on the existence of two distinct lineages, corresponding to a group encompassing West and Central African populations and a group encompassing East and Southern African populations. The former is currently assigned to two to three subspecies (S. c. nanus, S. c. brachyceros, S. c. aequinoctialis) and the latter to a separate subspecies (S. c. caffer). Forty-two per cent of the total amount of genetic diversity is explained by the between-lineage component, with one to seventeen female migrants per generation inferred as consistent with the isolation-with-migration model. The two lineages diverged between 145 000 to 449 000 years ago, with strong indications for a population expansion in both lineages, as revealed by coalescent-based analyses, summary statistics and a star-like topology of the haplotype network for the S. c. caffer lineage. A Bayesian analysis identified the most probable historical migration routes, with the Cape buffalo undertaking successive colonization events from Eastern toward Southern Africa. Furthermore, our analyses indicate that, in the West-Central African lineage, the forest ecophenotype may be a derived form of the savanna ecophenotype and not vice versa, as has previously been proposed. The African buffalo most likely expanded and diverged in the late to middle Pleistocene from an ancestral population located around the current-day Central African Republic, adapting morphologically to colonize new habitats, hence developing the variety of ecophenotypes observed today. en_US
dc.description.librarian am2014 en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Research grants from the FRS-FNRS of Belgium (Fond National pour la Recherche Scientifique) provided to J.R. Michaux (A5/ 5-MCF/BIC-11561) and N.M.R. Smitz (F3/5/5-MCF/ROI/BC-20.003) ( en_US
dc.description.uri en_US
dc.identifier.citation Smitz N, Berthouly C, Cornelis D, Heller R, Van Hooft P, et al. (2013) Pan-African Genetic Structure in the African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer): Investigating Intraspecific Divergence. PLoS ONE 8(2): e56235. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056235. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.other 10.1371/journal.pone.0056235
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_US
dc.rights © 2013 Smitz et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License en_US
dc.subject Intraspecific divergence en_US
dc.subject African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) en_US
dc.subject Pan-African genetic structure en_US
dc.title Pan-African genetic structure in the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) : investigating intraspecific divergence en_US
dc.type Article en_US

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