Genealogical Concordance and the Specific Status of Peromyscus sejugis
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Peromyscus sejugis, a peripheral isolate of Peromyscus maniculatus, is a threatened taxon endemic to 2 small islands in the Sea of Cortés. Although its insularity makes the specific recognition of P. sejugis inherently problematic, resolution of this problem has important conservation implications. To evaluate the specific validity and evolutionary history of P. sejugis, we compared sequence variation (ND3/ND4L/ND4) in mtDNA for both island populations of P. sejugis with that for 8 populations of P. maniculatus from mainland Baja California. Each island population of P. sejugis had a single haplotype (0.7% sequence divergence), whereas 11 different haplotypes (mean sequence divergence = 0.68%) were obtained for the populations of P. maniculatus. The mean sequence divergence between the populations of the 2 species was 2.0%. Nested clade analysis supports the conclusion that P. sejugis is an insular isolate of P. maniculatus from mainland Baja California. Although our analysis confirms a low level of mtDNA divergence between P. sejugis and P. maniculatus from Baja California, the genealogical concordance of morphological, chromosomal, microsatellite, and mtDNA haplotype distinctiveness supports the conclusion that the 2 island populations of P. sejugis constitute independent evolutionarily significant units and together represent a phylogenetic species distinct from the P. maniculatus from Baja California.
author list (cited authors)
Walker, M. L., Chirhart, S. E., Moore, A. F., Honeycutt, R. L., & Greenbaum, I. F.