Assessing subspecies status of leopards (Panthera pardus) of northern Pakistan using mitochondrial DNA
Asad, Muhammad; Martoni, Francesco; Ross, James G.; Waseem, M.; Abbas, Fakhar-i; Paterson, Adrian M.
Despite being classified as critically endangered, little work has been done on leopard protection in Pakistan. Once widely present throughout this region, leopards are now sparsely distributed, and possibly extinct from much of their previously recorded habitat. While leopards show morphological and genetic variation across their species range worldwide, resulting in the classification of nine different subspecies, the leopard genetic structure across Pakistan is unknown, with previous studies including only a very limited sampling. To clarify the genetic status of leopards in Pakistan we investigated the sequence variation in the subunit 5 of the mitochondrial gene NADH from 43 tissue samples and compared it with 238 sequences available from online databases. Phylogenetic analysis clearly separates the Pakistani leopards from the African and Arabian clades, confirming that leopards from Pakistan are members of the Asian clade. Furthermore, we identified two separate subspecies haplotypes within our dataset: P. p. fusca (N = 23) and P. p. saxicolor (N = 12).... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsgenetic variation; new haplotype; distribution; Panthera pardus saxicolor; Panthera pardus fusca; Asian leopards; P. p. saxicolor; P. p. fusca
Fields of Research060802 Animal Cell and Molecular Biology; 0608 Zoology; 0604 Genetics; 0502 Environmental Science and Management
© 2019 Asad et al.