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Nairobi, Kenya

Haus T.,Leibniz Institute for Primate Research | Haus T.,University of Gottingen | Akom E.,Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology | Agwanda B.,Mammalogy Section | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2013

African green monkeys (Chlorocebus) represent a widely distributed and morphologically diverse primate genus in sub-Saharan Africa. Little attention has been paid to their genetic diversity and phylogeny. Based on morphological data, six species are currently recognized, but their taxonomy remains disputed. Here, we aim to characterize the mitochondrial (mt) DNA diversity, biogeography and phylogeny of African green monkeys. We analyzed the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 126 samples using feces from wild individuals and material from zoo and museum specimens with clear geographical provenance, including several type specimens. We found evidence for nine major mtDNA clades that reflect geographic distributions rather than taxa, implying that the mtDNA diversity of African green monkeys does not conform to existing taxonomic classifications. Phylogenetic relationships among clades could not be resolved suggesting a rapid early divergence of lineages. Several discordances between mtDNA and phenotype indicate that hybridization may have occurred in contact zones among species, including the threatened Bale monkey (Chlorocebus djamdjamensis). Our results provide both valuable data on African green monkeys' genetic diversity and evolution and a basis for further molecular studies on this genus. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

Kuzmin I.V.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Mayer A.E.,University of Minnesota | Niezgoda M.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Markotter W.,University of Pretoria | And 3 more authors.
Virus Research | Year: 2010

During 2009, 616 bats representing at least 22 species were collected from 10 locations throughout Kenya. A new lyssavirus, named Shimoni bat virus (SHIBV), was isolated from the brain of a dead Commerson's leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros commersoni), found in a cave in the coastal region of Kenya. Genetic distances and phylogenetic reconstructions, implemented for each gene and for the concatenated alignment of all five structural genes (N, P, M, G and L), demonstrated that SHIBV cannot be identified with any of the existing species, but rather should be considered an independent species within phylogroup II of the Lyssavirus genus, most similar to Lagos bat virus (LBV). Antigenic reaction patterns with anti-nucleocapsid monoclonal antibodies corroborated these distinctions. In addition, new data on the diversity of LBV suggests that this species may be subdivided quantitatively into three separate genotypes. However, the identity values alone are not considered sufficient criteria for demarcation of new species within LBV. © 2010. Source

Demos T.C.,New York University | Demos T.C.,City University of New York | Demos T.C.,Integrative Research Center | Demos T.C.,Louisiana State University | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot (EABH) has the highest concentration of biodiversity in tropical Africa, yet few studies have investigated recent historical diversification processes in EABH lineages. Herein, we analyze restriction-site associated DNAsequences (RAD-Seq) to study recent historical processes in co-distributed mouse (Hylomyscus) and shrew (Sylvisorex) species complexes, with an aim to better determine how historical paleoenvironmental processes might have contributed to the EABH's high diversity. We analyzed complete SNP matrices of > 50,000 RAD loci to delineate populations, reconstruct the history of isolation and admixture, and discover geographic patterns of genetic partitioning. These analyses demonstrate that persistently unsuitable habitat may have isolated multiple populations distributed across montane habitat islands in the Itombwe Massif and Albertine Rift to the west as well as Mt Elgon and Kenyan Highlands to the east. We detected low genetic diversity in Kenyan Highland populations of both genera, consistent with smaller historical population sizes in this region. We additionally tested predictions that Albertine Rift populations are older and more persistently isolated compared to the Kenyan Highlands. Phylogenetic analyses support greater historical isolation among Albertine Rift populations of both shrews and mice compared to the Kenyan Highlands and suggest that there are genetically isolated populations from both focal genera in the Itombwe Massif, Democratic Republic of Congo. The Albertine Rift ecoregion has the highest mammalian tropical forest species richness per unit area on earth. Our results clearly support accelerating efforts to conserve this diversity. © 2015 Demos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source

Kuzmin I.V.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Turmelle A.S.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Agwanda B.,Mammalogy Section | Markotter W.,University of Pretoria | And 3 more authors.
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2011

In this study we attempted to identify whether Commerson's leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros commersoni) is the reservoir of Shimoni bat virus (SHIBV), which was isolated from a bat of this species in 2009. An alternative explanation is that the isolation of SHIBV from H. commersoni was a result of spill-over infection from other species, particularly from the Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus), which frequently sympatrically roost with H. commersoni and are known as the reservoir of the phylogenetically related Lagos bat virus (LBV). To evaluate these hypotheses, 769 bats of at least 17 species were sampled from 18 locations across Kenya during 2009-2010. Serum samples were subjected to virus neutralization tests against SHIBV and LBV. A limited amount of cross-neutralization between LBV and SHIBV was detected. However, H. commersoni bats demonstrated greater seroprevalence to SHIBV than to LBV, and greater virus-neutralizing titers to SHIBV than to LBV, with a mean difference of 1.16 log 10 (95% confidence intervals [CI]: 0.94-1.40; p<0.001). The opposite pattern was observed for sera of R. aegyptiacus bats, with a mean titer difference of 1.06 log 10 (95% CI: 0.83-1.30; p<0.001). Moreover, the seroprevalence in H. commersoni to SHIBV in the cave where these bats sympatrically roosted with R. aegyptiacus (and where SHIBV was isolated in 2009) was similar to their seroprevalence to SHIBV in a distant cave where no R. aegyptiacus were present (18.9% and 25.0%, respectively). These findings suggest that H. commersoni is the host species of SHIBV. Additional surveillance is needed to better understand the ecology of this virus and the potential risks of infection to humans and other mammalian species. © Copyright 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Source

Demos T.C.,City College of New York | Demos T.C.,City University of New York | Agwanda B.,Mammalogy Section | Hickerson M.J.,City College of New York | Hickerson M.J.,City University of New York
Journal of Mammalogy | Year: 2014

A new species of African wood mouse (Hylomyscus) is described from the western Kenya region. Previous studies have hypothesized that populations of Hylomyscus from this region may be assignable to either H. vulcanorum or H. cf. anselli. We compared 3 populations of Hylomyscus from western Kenyan montane forests to sister taxa from the Hylomyscus denniae group on the basis of morphology, morphometrics, mitochondrial DNA gene trees, multilocus species trees, and coalescent-based species delimitation to clarify relationships within these clades. Our results were congruent across data sets in support of this new species as sister to H. anselli and reproductively isolated from H. endorobae on the Mau Escarpment of Kenya where the 2 taxa are sympatric and syntopic. Lineages within the H. anselli group differ by 3.2-7.4% in (corrected) cytochrome-b sequences. Phylogeographic analysis of Hylomyscus n. sp. suggests strong population or range expansion, or both, since the last glacial maxima. A dated multilocus species tree places divergence of Hylomyscus n. sp. from H. anselli during the middle Pleistocene and the H. anselli group from the H. denniae group during the late Miocene to early Pliocene. This species is known from protected sites on Mt. Elgon, as well as unprotected sites within the Mau Escarpment and Cherangani Hills where extensive human habitat disturbance warrants conservation attention. © 2014 American Society of Mammalogists. Source

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