Assessment of the Phylogenetic Status of Afghan Pika (Ochotona rufescens)

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

1 Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Marine Natural Resources, Khorramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, Iran.

2 Department of Environmental Sciences, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran.

3 Department of Environment Faculty of Natural Resources College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran

4 3Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran, Iran. P.O. Box 4111, Karaj, Iran.

5 Department of Fishery and Environmental science, Faculty of Natural Resources and Geosiences, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

Abstract

Phylogenetic relationships between Afghan Pika (O. rufescens) and others in the world are still unclear. Morphological phylogeny study of the genus Ochotona by different experts showed the different taxonomic position of the Afghan Pika, but could not determine the taxonomic position of this species. Previous phylogenetic studies based on mtDNA markers showed the different sister groups of the species. In this study, we aimed to unveil the phylogenetic relationship of the Afghan Pika, adding more specimens to the phylogenetic trees. In total, 355 different sequences relating to different pikas were retrieved from GenBank and 25 individuals from Iran were also sequenced for cytb. The phylogenetic tree revealed that samples of individuals from Northern Iran, Southern Iran and the Toulouse lab aggregate in the same clade. Results of K2P showed that the pairwise genetic distance of O. rufescens was closer to that of Conothoa subgenus than to others. It seems that the phylogenetic status of O. rufescens, is more related to the Conothoa subgenera than to Ochotona or Pika.

Keywords


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