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Mitochondrial DNA variation in eastern roe deer (Capreolus pygargus) populations from Northeastern China: implications for management and conservation

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Eastern roe deer (Capreolus pygargus Pallas) in northeastern China is currently threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation, and overhunting. In order to provide useful information for its conservation and management, we investigated the genetic diversity and population structure of the roe deer based on analyzing 460 base pairs of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region in 88 individuals sampled from three different geographic regions (Great Khinnhan Mountains, Lesser Khinnhan Mountains, and Wanda Mountains). Fifty variable sites and 30 haplotypes were identified. The roe deer exhibited high mtDNA diversity with haplotype diversity (H=0.967±0.007) and nucleotide diversity (=2.641±2.595%). Based on the analysis of 30 haplotypes, the roe deer can be divided into three subpopulations. Although there appears to be gene flow among the three subpopulations, these data indicate that the population of deer from Great Khingan Mountains is genetically distinct with the other population and is worthy of specific conservation efforts. We recommend that a breeding program is established for the Great Khingan Mountains.

Keywords: mtDNA control region; protection; wildlife management

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: College of Wildlife Resource, Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, China

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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