Genetic variation and population structure of the Japanese sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Hokkaido Island, based on mitochondrial D-loop sequences.

Abstract

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop region sequences (602 bp) from 141 samples of the sika deer Cervus nippon collected from Hokkaido Island of Japan were investigated to elucidate population genetic structure. All animals possessed seven repeat units (38 or 39 bp each) in the sequences. Comparison of the 602-bp sequences showed four sites of transitional mutations (A<-->G or C<-->T). Based on combination of the substitutions, six D-loop haplotypes (a-f types) were identified in the Hokkaido population, suggesting the occurrence of at least six maternal lineages. Distribution maps of the haplotypes constructed using the Geographic Information System showed that the distribution of the major three types differed from haplotype to haplotype. In particular, distribution of the major three types (a-, b-, and c-types) almost overlapped with three main areas of coniferous forests in Hokkaido. These results suggest that expansion of the sika deer population could have occurred through the habitat of coniferous forests after the historical bottleneck in Hokkaido.

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@article{Nagata1998GeneticVA, title={Genetic variation and population structure of the Japanese sika deer (Cervus nippon) in Hokkaido Island, based on mitochondrial D-loop sequences.}, author={Junco Nagata and Ryuichi Masuda and Kunihide Kaji and Michio Kaneko and Michihiro C. Yoshida}, journal={Molecular ecology}, year={1998}, volume={7 7}, pages={871-7} }