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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 42, No. 1, 2021, pp. 3-13
Bioline Code: zr21002
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2021, pp. 3-13

 en Multilocus phylogeny suggests a distinct species status for the Nepal population of Assam macaques ( Macaca assamensis check for this species in other resources ): implications for evolution and conservation
Khanal, Laxman; Chalise, Mukesh Kumar; Fan, Peng-Fei; Kyes, Randall C. & Jiang, Xue-Long

Abstract

Phylogenetic relationships within the sinica-group of macaques based on morphological, behavioral, and molecular characteristics have remained controversial. The Nepal population of Assam macaques (Macaca assamensis) (NPAM), the westernmost population of the species, is morphologically distinct but has never been used in phylogenetic analyses. Here, the phylogenetic relationship of NPAM with other congeners was tested using multiple mitochondrial and Y-chromosomal loci. The divergence times and evolutionary genetic distances among macaques were also estimated. Results revealed two major mitochondrial DNA clades of macaques under the sinica-group: the first clade included M. thibetana check for this species in other resources , M. sinica check for this species in other resources , and eastern subspecies of Assam macaque ( M. assamensis assamensis check for this species in other resources ); the second clade included M. radiata check for this species in other resources together with species from the eastern and central Himalaya, namely, M. leucogenys check for this species in other resources , M. munzala check for this species in other resources , and NPAM. Among the second-clade species, NPAM was the first to diverge from the other members of the clade around 1.9 million years ago. Our results revealed that NPAM is phylogenetically distinct from the eastern Assam macaques and closer to other species and hence may represent a separate species. Because of its phylogenetic distinctiveness, isolated distribution, and small population size, the Nepal population of sinica-group macaques warrants detailed taxonomic revision and high conservation priority.

Keywords
Himalaya; Macaques; Paraphyletic; sinica-group; Taxonomy

 
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