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Animal Biodiversity and Conservation. Volume 46.1 (2023) Pages: 57-69

Molecular assessment of the taxonomic status of pine vole species Microtus subterraneus and Microtus majori in southeastern Europe and Turkey

Çetintürk, D., Yiğit, N., Çolak, E.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2023.46.0057

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Abstract

Intra– and inter–specific phylogenetic relationships and the taxonomic status of pine vole populations have been controversial for years, and cryptic species are thought to exist, especially concering the species' distribution area. To clarify the taxonomic status of Turkish populations we analysed mitochondrial (cytochrome–b and cytochrome oxidase–I) and nuclear (interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein) gene markers, adding GenBank data from Europe and Caucasia. Considering the data obtained based on mean genetic distance, genetic diversity and fixation index values, Bayesian trees and Median–joining networks, we found that M. subterraneus and M. majori are valid species which have diverged since 1.28 Mya. Findings also suggested that although Anatolian, Thracian (Turkish Thrace and Greece) and European populations of M. subterraneus and Anatolian and Caucasian populations of M. majori have been in the process of divergency since 0.528–0.337 Mya correspond to the Pleistocene glacial periods, these intrapopulations do not appear to be different species.Besides, considering the high intraspecific variation in M. subterraneus, it remains likely that new species could be identified in future studies.

Keywords

Microtus subterraneus, Microtus majori, Pine vole, Anatolia, mtDNA, nucDNA

Cite

Çetintürk, D., Yiğit, N., Çolak, E., 2023. Molecular assessment of the taxonomic status of pine vole species Microtus subterraneus and Microtus majori in southeastern Europe and Turkey. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 46: 57-69, DOI: https://doi.org/10.32800/abc.2023.46.0057

Reception date:

13/06/2022

Acceptation date:

27/01/2023

Publication date:

20/02/2023

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