Phylogeny and genetic diversity of Italian species of hares (genus Lepus)

Mengoni, Chiara (2011) Phylogeny and genetic diversity of Italian species of hares (genus Lepus), [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biodiversità ed evoluzione - biodiversity and evolution, 23 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/3493.
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In this study we have analysed the genetic variability in ca. 700 samples belonging to six species of genus Lepus using maternal and biparental molecular markers (mitochondrial DNA, microsatellites, Single Nucleotide Polimorphisms). We aimed to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships of species of hares living in Europe, and assess the occurrence of hybridization between the European hare Lepus europaeus and the Italian hare Lepus corsicanus. Results showed a deep genetic differentiation and absence of hybridization between L. corsicanus and L. europaeus, confirming that they are distinct and distantly related biological species. In contrast, we showed small genetic distances and a close phylogenetic relationship between the Italian hare and Cantabrian hare L. castroviejoi, which suggest a deeper evaluation of their taxonomic status. Populations of L. corsicanus are geographically differentiated. In particular, the peninsular and Sicilian populations of Italian hares are sharply genetically distinct, which calls for avoiding any translocation between Italy and Sicily. Information on genetic variability and population structure is being used to implement the Italian Action Plan for L. corsicanus.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Mengoni, Chiara
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
lepus conservation genetics mtDNA microsatellite SNP
Data di discussione
3 Maggio 2011

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