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  1. Tnah LH, Lee SL, Ng KK, Lee CT, Bhassu S, Othman RY
    J Hered, 2013 Jan-Feb;104(1):115-26.
    PMID: 23132907 DOI: 10.1093/jhered/ess076
    Tectonic movements, climatic oscillations, and marine transgressions during the Cenozoic have had a dramatic effect on the biota of the tropical rain forest. This study aims to reveal the phylogeography and evolutionary history of a Peninsular Malaysian endemic tropical timber species, Neobalanocarpus heimii (Dipterocarpaceae). A total of 32 natural populations of N. heimii, with 8 samples from each population were investigated. Fifteen haplotypes were identified from five noncoding chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) regions. Overall, two major genealogical cpDNA lineages of N. heimii were elucidated: a widespread southern and a northern region. The species is predicted to have survived in multiple refugia during climatic oscillations: the northwestern region (R1), the northeastern region (R2), and the southern region (R3). These putative glacial refugia exhibited higher levels of genetic diversity, population differentiation, and the presence of unique haplotypes. Recolonization of refugia R1 and R2 could have first expanded into the northern region and migrated both northeastwards and northwestwards. Meanwhile, recolonization of N. heimii throughout the southern region could have commenced from refugia R3 and migrated toward the northeast and northwest, respectively. The populations of Tersang, Pasir Raja, and Rotan Tunggal exhibited remarkably high haplotype diversity, which could have been the contact zones that have received an admixture of gene pools from the northerly and also southerly regions. As a whole, the populations of N. heimii derived from glacial refugia and contact zones should be considered in the conservation strategies in order to safeguard the long-term survival of the species.
  2. Munshi-South J, Bernard H
    J Hered, 2011 May-Jun;102(3):342-6.
    PMID: 21414965 DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esr013
    In this study, we sequenced a partial segment of the mitochondrial control region from 21 proboscis monkeys of the Klias peninsula, the last large population remaining on the west coast of Sabah, Malaysia. Our results showed that this population retains substantial genetic variation, and subpopulations from different river systems in the central and southern portions of the Klias share multiple haplotypes. We also compared our data with previously generated sequences from 2 eastern populations of proboscis monkeys in Sabah and found little evidence of regional genetic structure. Based on these results, we argue that conservation efforts should focus on restoring connectivity between central and southern Klias peninsula proboscis monkeys and discuss future analyses needed to better understand the mitochondrial structure of proboscis monkeys in Sabah.
  3. Lambert DM
    J Hered, 1976 3 1;67(2):92-8.
    PMID: 5483
    The salivary chromosomes of four species of the nasuta complex of Drosophila, D. sulfurigaster albostrigata, D, kohkoa, D. albomicans, and D. kepulauana were studied and chromosome maps of each species are presented; the maps of the latter three species are based on the map of D. sulfurigaster albostrigata. Three of the species D. sulfurigaster albostrigata, D. albomicans, and D. kohkoa were shown to be highly polymorphic for chromosomal inversions while the available evidence indicated that D. kepulauana is much less polymorphic. These facts are correlated with the geographic distribution of the species. Transitional homoselection has not been complete in the evolution of three of the species since D. sulfurigaster albostrigata, D. kohkoa, and D. albomicans have a number of naturally occurring polymorphisms in common.
  4. Brandt JR, van Coeverden de Groot PJ, Witt KE, Engelbrektsson PK, Helgen KM, Malhi RS, et al.
    J Hered, 2018 06 27;109(5):553-565.
    PMID: 29684146 DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esy019
    The Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), once widespread across Southeast Asia, now consists of as few as 30 individuals within Sumatra and Borneo. To aid in conservation planning, we sequenced 218 bp of control region mitochondrial (mt) DNA, identifying 17 distinct mitochondrial haplotypes across modern (N = 13) and museum (N = 26) samples. Museum specimens from Laos and Myanmar had divergent mtDNA, consistent with the placement of western mainland rhinos into the distinct subspecies D. s. lasiotis (presumed extinct). Haplotypes from Bornean rhinos were highly diverse, but dissimilar from those of other regions, supporting the distinctiveness of the subspecies D. s. harrissoni. Rhinos from Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia shared mtDNA haplotypes, consistent with their traditional placement into a single subspecies D. s sumatrensis. Modern samples of D. s. sumatrensis were genotyped at 18 microsatellite loci. Rhinos within Sumatra formed 2 sub-populations, likely separated by the Barisan Mountains, though with only modest genetic differentiation between them. There are so few remaining Sumatran rhinoceros that separate management strategies for subspecies or subpopulations may not be viable, while each surviving rhino pedigree is likely to retain alleles found in no other individuals. Given the low population size and low reproductive potential of Sumatran rhinos, rapid genetic erosion is inevitable, though an under-appreciated concern is the potential for fixation of harmful genetic variants. Both concerns underscore 2 overriding priorities for the species: 1) translocation of wild rhinos to ex situ facilities, and 2) collection and storage of gametes and cell lines from every surviving captive and wild individual.
  5. Mason VC, Helgen KM, Murphy WJ
    J Hered, 2019 03 05;110(2):158-172.
    PMID: 30247638 DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esy046
    The evolutionary history of the colugo, a gliding arboreal mammal distributed throughout Sundaland, was influenced by the location of and connections between forest habitats. By comparing colugo phylogenetic patterns, species ecology, sample distributions, and times of divergence to those of other Sundaic taxa with different life-history traits and dispersal capabilities, we inferred the probable distribution of paleo-forest corridors and their influence on observed biogeographic patterns. We identified a consistent pattern of early diversification between east and west Bornean lineages in colugos, lesser mouse deer, and Sunda pangolins, but not in greater mouse deer. This deep east-west split within Borneo has not been commonly described in mammals. Colugos on West Borneo diverged from colugos in Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra in the late Pliocene, however most other mammalian populations distributed across these same geographic regions diverged from a common ancestor more recently in the Pleistocene. Low genetic divergence between colugos on large landmasses and their neighboring satellite islands indicated that past forest distributions were recently much larger than present refugial distributions. Our analysis of colugo evolutionary history reconstructs Borneo as the most likely ancestral area of origin for Sunda colugos, and suggests that forests present during the middle Pliocene within the Sunda Shelf were more evergreen and contiguous, while forests were more fragmented, transient, seasonal, or with lower density canopies in the Pleistocene.
  6. Ng CH, Lee SL, Tnah LH, Ng KKS, Lee CT, Diway B, et al.
    J Hered, 2019 12 17;110(7):844-856.
    PMID: 31554011 DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esz052
    Southeast Asian rainforests at upper hill elevations are increasingly vulnerable to degradation because most lowland forest areas have been converted to different land uses. As such, understanding the genetics of upper hill species is becoming more crucial for their future management and conservation. Shorea platyclados is an important, widespread upper hill dipterocarp in Malaysia. To elucidate the genetic structure of S. platyclados and ultimately provide guidelines for a conservation strategy for this species, we carried out a comprehensive study of the genetic diversity and demographic history of S. platyclados. Twenty-seven populations of S. platyclados across its range in Malaysia were genotyped at 15 polymorphic microsatellite loci and sequenced at seven noncoding chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) regions. A total of 303 alleles were derived from the microsatellite loci, and 29 haplotypes were identified based on 2892 bp of concatenated cpDNA sequences. The populations showed moderately high genetic diversity (mean HE = 0.680 for microsatellite gene diversity and HT = 0.650 for total haplotype diversity) and low genetic differentiation (FST = 0.060). Bayesian clustering divided the studied populations into two groups corresponding to western and eastern Malaysia. Bottleneck analysis did not detect any recent bottleneck events. Extended Bayesian skyline analyses showed a model of constant size for the past population history of this species. Based on our findings, priority areas for in situ and ex situ conservation and a minimum population size are recommended for the sustainable utilization of S. platyclados.
  7. Zhao K, Ishida Y, Green CE, Davidson AG, Sitam FAT, Donnelly CL, et al.
    J Hered, 2019 12 17;110(7):761-768.
    PMID: 31674643 DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esz058
    Illegal hunting is a major threat to the elephants of Africa, with more elephants killed by poachers than die from natural causes. DNA from tusks has been used to infer the source populations for confiscated ivory, relying on nuclear genetic markers. However, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences can also provide information on the geographic origins of elephants due to female elephant philopatry. Here, we introduce the Loxodonta Localizer (LL; www.loxodontalocalizer.org), an interactive software tool that uses a database of mtDNA sequences compiled from previously published studies to provide information on the potential provenance of confiscated ivory. A 316 bp control region sequence, which can be readily generated from DNA extracted from ivory, is used as a query. The software generates a listing of haplotypes reported among 1917 African elephants in 24 range countries, sorted in order of similarity to the query sequence. The African locations from which haplotype sequences have been previously reported are shown on a map. We demonstrate examples of haplotypes reported from only a single locality or country, examine the utility of the program in identifying elephants from countries with varying degrees of sampling, and analyze batches of confiscated ivory. The LL allows for the source of confiscated ivory to be assessed within days, using widely available molecular methods that do not depend on a particular platform or laboratory. The program enables identification of potential regions or localities from which elephants are being poached, with capacity for rapid identification of populations newly or consistently targeted by poachers.
  8. Lai WL, Chew J, Gatherer D, Ngoprasert D, Rahman S, Ayub Q, et al.
    J Hered, 2021 03 29;112(2):214-220.
    PMID: 33439997 DOI: 10.1093/jhered/esab004
    Sun bear populations are fragmented and at risk from habitat loss and exploitation for body parts. These threats are made worse by significant gaps in knowledge of sun bear population genetic diversity, population connectivity, and taxonomically significant management units. Using a complete sun bear mitochondrial genome, we developed a set of mitochondrial markers to assess haplotype variation and the evolutionary history of sun bears from Peninsular (West) Malaysia and Sabah (East Malaysia). Genetic samples from 28 sun bears from Peninsular Malaysia, 36 from Sabah, and 18 from Thailand were amplified with primers targeting a 1800 bp region of the mitochondrial genome including the complete mitochondrial control region and adjacent genes. Sequences were analyzed using phylogenetic methods. We identified 51 mitochondrial haplotypes among 82 sun bears. Phylogenetic and network analyses provided strong support for a deep split between Malaysian sun bears and sun bears in East Thailand and Yunnan province in China. The Malaysian lineage was further subdivided into two clades: Peninsular Malaysian and Malaysian Borneo (Sabah). Sun bears from Thailand occurred in both Sabah and Peninsular Malaysian clades. Our study supports recent findings that sun bears from Sundaland form a distinct clade from those in China and Indochina with Thailand possessing lineages from the three clades. Importantly, we demonstrate a more recent and clear genetic delineation between sun bears from the Malay Peninsula and Sabah indicating historical barriers to gene flow within the Sundaic region.
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