Phylogeography of red muntjacs reveals three distinct mitochondrial lineages

Renata F., Martins and Jörns, Ficke and Minh, Le and Thanh van, Nguyen and Ha M., Nguyen and Robert, Timmins and Ming Gan, Han and Jeffrine Japning, Rovie-Ryan and Dorina, Lenz and Daniel W., Förster and Andreas, Wilting (2017) Phylogeography of red muntjacs reveals three distinct mitochondrial lineages. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17 (34). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2730-7182

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Background: The members of the genus Muntiacus are of particular interest to evolutionary biologists due to their extreme chromosomal rearrangements and the ongoing discussions about the number of living species. Red muntjacs have the largest distribution of all muntjacs and were formerly considered as one species. Karyotype differences led to the provisional split between the Southern Red Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) and the Northern Red Muntjac (M. vaginalis), but uncertainties remain as, so far, no phylogenetic study has been conducted. Here, we analysed whole mitochondrial genomes of 59 archival and 16 contemporaneous samples to resolve uncertainties about their taxonomy and used red muntjacs as model for understanding the evolutionary history of other species in Southeast Asia. Results: We found three distinct matrilineal groups of red muntjacs: Sri Lankan red muntjacs (including the Western Ghats) diverged first from other muntjacs about 1.5 Mya; later northern red muntjacs (including North India and Indochina) and southern red muntjacs (Sundaland) split around 1.12 Mya. The diversification of red muntjacs into these three main lineages was likely promoted by two Pleistocene barriers: one through the Indian subcontinent and one separating the Indochinese and Sundaic red muntjacs. Interestingly, we found a high level of gene flow within the populations of northern and southern red muntjacs, indicating gene flow between populations in Indochina and dispersal of red muntjacs over the exposed Sunda Shelf during the Last Glacial Maximum. Conclusions: Our results provide new insights into the evolution of species in South and Southeast Asia as we found clear genetic differentiation in a widespread and generalist species, corresponding to two known biogeographical barriers: The Isthmus of Kra and the central Indian dry zone. In addition, our molecular data support either the delineation of three monotypic species or three subspecies, but more importantly these data highlight the conservation importance of the Sri Lankan/South Indian red muntjac.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Phylogeography, Archival DNA, Muntjac, Southeast Asia, Species complex, UNIMAS, University, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, IPTA, education, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Resource Science and Technology
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Faculty of Resource Science and Technology
Depositing User: Sanawi
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2021 07:41
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2021 07:41

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