Phylogeny of lions in west and central africa
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Phylogeny of lions in West and Central Africa. Laura Bertola [email protected] Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL), Leiden University. Background. Distribution present day lion populations

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Phylogeny of lions in west and central africa

Phylogeny of lions in West and Central Africa

Laura Bertola

[email protected]

Institute of Environmental Sciences (CML), Leiden University

Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL), Leiden University


Background
Background

  • Distribution present day lion populations

  • Two subspecies (IUCN):African & Asiatic lion

  • More variation in species  distinct clades

  • Taxonomy important for conservation


Background1
Background

West and Central Africa:

  • 10% of total African lion population

  • Populations small and isolated

  • Lion regionally endangered

  • Not (sufficiently) sampled for phylogenetic studies

From the Conservation strategy for the lion in West and Central Africa, 2006


Background2
Background

Position of West and Central African lions unknown

  • West Africa unique climatological history

  • Dichotomy in other African mammals


Questions
Questions

  •  Do lions from West and Central Africa form one or more distinct clade(s) within the species?

  • Evolutionary history of population

  • Genetic make up of populations

  • Implications for conservation management


Approach
Approach

  • Collecting samples (wild & zoo)

  • DNA data: cyt b + control region: n = 53 (15 countries)

  • Increasing sample size with Genbank data:cyt b: n = 28 (5 countries)control region: n = 45 (19 countries)

  • Phylogenetic analyses:

    - Bayesian analysis- Maximum Likelihood analysis (ML)- Maximum Parsimony analysis (MP): haplotype network


Results
Results

Consistent pattern in data:

  • South + East Africa: high genetic diversity

  • West + Central Africa: low genetic diversity

  • Close relationship India and West + Central Africa



West + Central Africa

South + East Africa


West + Central Africa

India

South + East Africa



West + Central Africa

South + East Africa


West + Central Africa

India

South + East Africa


Discussion
Discussion

Genetic pattern can be explained by:

1. Current natural structures (Sahel belt, rain forest, Rift valley)


Discussion1
Discussion

Genetic pattern can be explained by:

2. Climatological history (hyperarid conditions in Western Africa)

  • Hyperarid conditions in Western Africa in late Pleistocene  local extinction

  • Refugia in Middle East

  • Recolonization of Western Africa (evolutionary young clade  low genetic variation)


Current research

Sahara lion skull (Eduward Zuurdeeg)

Current research

  • Intermediate position of lions from North Africa and the

    Middle East?

  • Ancient DNA methods on nowadays extinct lion populations

Historic distribution

Present distribution


Current research1

Sahara lion skull (Eduward Zuurdeeg)

Current research

  • Intermediate position of lions from North Africa and the

    Middle East?

  • Ancient DNA methods on nowadays extinct lion populations

Historic distribution

Present distribution


Current research2
Current research

  •  Low genetic diversity in lion populations in West and Central Africa (inbreeding?)

  • Comparison genetic make up and level of inbreeding Cameroon – Kenya lion populations.

Cameroon


Current research3
Current research

  •  Low genetic diversity in lion populations in West and Central Africa (inbreeding?)

  • Comparison genetic make up and level of inbreeding Cameroon – Kenya lion populations.


Current research4
Current research

  •  Low genetic diversity in lion populations in West and Central Africa (inbreeding?)

  • Comparison genetic make up and level of inbreeding Cameroon – Kenya lion populations.


Current research5
Current research

  • Non-invasive sampling

  • Microsatellite analysis:- Genetic variation: polymorphism + level heterozygosity - Risk of inbreeding

  • Population/park size, park management


Current research6
Current research

  • Results based on mDNA only (maternally inherited)

  • Dissolving of tree

     Extend dataset:

  • Distribution of samples

  • Target other genetic regions:- Y-chromosomal region (paternal lineage)- Complete mitochondrial genome (maternal lineage)- Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), >30,000 datapoints


Conclusion
Conclusion

  • West and Central Africa:

  • Genetically distinct

  • Different level of genetic variety

  • Unique evolutionary history

  • Insight into evolutionary processes in Africa

    • Giving priority to wild (meta)populations

  • Breeding programs for captive stocks

  • In the future: revision of phylo-taxonomy?


Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

  • Dr. Hans de Iongh

  • Dr. Klaas Vrieling

  • Prof. Dr. Geert de Snoo

  • Zoos and researchers whoprovided us with samples

  • Hermen Visser

  • Lana Müller

  • Hester Jongbloed


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