Genetic Evidence for Two Species of Elephant in Africa

  title={Genetic Evidence for Two Species of Elephant in Africa},
  author={Alfred L. Roca and Nicholas J. Georgiadis and Jill Pecon-Slattery and Stephen J. O’Brien},
  pages={1473 - 1477}
Elephants from the tropical forests of Africa are morphologically distinct from savannah or bush elephants. Dart-biopsy samples from 195 free-ranging African elephants in 21 populations were examined for DNA sequence variation in four nuclear genes (1732 base pairs). Phylogenetic distinctions between African forest elephant and savannah elephant populations corresponded to 58% of the difference in the same genes between elephant genera Loxodonta (African) and Elephas (Asian). Large genetic… 
Patterns of molecular genetic variation among African elephant populations
The savannah elephants show significantly lower genetic diversity than forest elephants, probably reflecting a founder effect in the recent history of the savannah species.
Genomic inferences from Afrotheria and the evolution of elephants.
Low coverage sequencing of two Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) genomes
The availability of elephant genome sequence data from all three elephant species will complement studies of behaviour, genetic diversity, evolution and disease resistance, and are an important addition to the available genetic and genomic information on Asian and African elephants.
Elephant natural history: a genomic perspective.
DNA-based methods have been developed to determine the geographic provenance of confiscated ivory in an effort to aid the conservation of elephants, and it is established that the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is the closest living relative of the extinct woolly mammoth.
Loxodonta africana – African Elephant
Taxonomic notes: Preliminary genetic evidence suggests that there may be at least two species of African Elephant, namely the Savannah Elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the Forest Elephant (Loxodonta
Relatedness and demography of African forest elephants: inferences from noninvasive fecal DNA analyses.
Examination of relatedness structure and historical demography of forest elephants at 2 sites in SW Gabon suggested that, like savannah elephants, forest groups are largely composed of adult females, their sisters, and juvenile offspring.
Population management of zoo elephants
As populations of elephants in zoos metamorphose from those maintained by importation to self-sustaining groups maintained by captive breeding, there will be an increase in the number of bull elephants to be managed, which will require a significant change in elephant-management practices.
The evolution and phylogeography of the African elephant inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequence and nuclear microsatellite markers
It is proposed that the complex phylogeographic patterns the authors detect in African elephants result from repeated continental–scale climatic changes over their five–to–six million year evolutionary history.
Genetic diversity in North American captive Asian elephants
To assess genetic diversity in North American captive Asian elephants Elephas maximus, one mitochondrial DNA segment was sequenced in combination with multilocus genotypes generated from 20 nuclear microsatellite loci for 201 individuals and confirmed that North American captivity Asian elephants belong to either the previously characterized α or β clade.


Molecular phylogeny of Elephantidae. Extreme divergence of the extant forest African elephant.
Structure and history of African elephant populations: I. Eastern and southern Africa.
Patterns of restriction site variation within mitochondrial DNA of 270 individuals used to examine the current structure of savanna elephant populations and to infer historical patterns of gene flow across eastern and southern Africa are consistent with the more parsimonious hypothesis that gene flow has maintained a sufficiently large effective population size for representatives of clades that diverged at least 4 million years ago to have persisted by chance within a population that was subdivided, but not strictly isolated in allopatry.
Is there a future for elephants in West Africa
The elephants of West Africa have experienced a long history of human disturbance. Before 1800 they were much affected by the precolonial empires of the savanna and Sahelian zones, the trans-Saharan
East African mammals : an atlas of evolution in Africa
Two volumes on the bovids include a reappraisal of bovid taxonomy and original analyses of the form and function of body shape and size, horn shape, coat pattern, and tooth structure.
Bureaucratic mischief: recognizing endangered species and subspecies.
The interpretive difficulties posed by molecular results for four endangered groups are summarized and three opinions from the Solicitor's Office of the Department of the Interior have ruled with the force of precedent that hybrids between endangered species, subspecies, or populations cannot be protected.
Adaptation, speciation and hybrid zones
Studies of hybrid zones allow us to quantify the genetic differences responsible for speciation, to measure the diffusion of genes between diverging taxa, and to understand the spread of alternative adaptations.
Comparative anchor tagged sequences (CATS) for integrative mapping of mammalian genomes
Using a computer script that automates DNA sequence database alignments, 410 evolutionary conserved primer pair sequences which are specific for anchor locus gene amplification from any mammalian species' DNA are designed.
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Evolution
A history of Molecular Phylogenetics and applications of individuality and Parentage, issues of Heterozygosity, and special Approaches to Phylageny Estimation are reviewed.
Mathematical model for studying genetic variation in terms of restriction endonucleases.
  • M. Nei, W. Li
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1979
A mathematical model for the evolutionary change of restriction sites in mitochondrial DNA is developed and a measure called "nucleotide diversity" is proposed to express the degree of polymorphism in a population at the nucleotide level.