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Volume 64, Issue 2 (Apr 2009)


Phylogeography and genetic relationships of North African Bufo mauritanicus Schlegel, 1841 estimated from mitochondrial DNA sequences

David Harris
  • CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661, Vairão, Portugal
  • Departamento de Zoologia e Antropologia, Faculdade de Cięncias da Universidade do Porto, 4099-002, Porto, Portugal
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/ Ana Perera
  • CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, Campus Agrário de Vairão, 4485-661, Vairão, Portugal
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Published Online: 2009-02-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-009-0042-6


Genetic variation within the North African toad Bufo mauritanicus was estimated by sequencing partial 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA mitochondrial regions from widespread populations in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Unlike many other wide ranging species from this area, B. mauritanicus demonstrated very low levels of intraspecific variation. The minimal intraspecific genetic variation may be due to a relatively recent, possibly post-glacial, expansion into its current range. Further phylogeographic studies of other North African species are needed to assess if this is a common biogeographical phenomenon. Phylogenetic analyses support immunological data that B. mauritanicus is part of a clade of predominantly sub-Saharan Bufo, recently assigned to a new genus Amietophrynus. Two different lineages within this clade, B. mauritanicus and the B. pardalis group, appear to have reverted from 20 chromosomes to the more typical 22 chromosomes found in most other Bufonids. However, the alternative hypothesis that the Bufo species with 20 chromosomes form a monophyletic lineage cannot be rejected.

Keywords: Bufo mauritanicus; mitochondrial DNA; 12S rRNA; 16S rRNA; North Africa

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About the article

Published Online: 2009-02-20

Published in Print: 2009-04-01

Citation Information: Biologia, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-009-0042-6.

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© 2009 Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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