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Singapore, Singapore

Schillaci M.A.,University of Toronto | Saravia S.,University of Toronto | Benjamin P.Y.-H.L.,National Parks Board Headquarters | Matheson C.,Lakehead University
Raffles Bulletin of Zoology | Year: 2011

Few studies have examined the molecular relationships of a single natural population of macaque species. This preliminary study sought to conduct a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation in Singapore's macaque population and to describe the geographic structure of that variation. Hair samples were obtained from wild Macaca fascicularis fascicularis (n=54) trapped at multiple locations in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve (BTNR) and the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR). The mtDNA sequence data obtained from the hair samples were used to generate phylogenetic trees using the neighbor joining and maximum parsimony methods. Based on mtDNA fragments, two groupings were apparent within Singapore, one from BTNR and the other from CCNR. Neighbor joining bootstrap values between 99% (COII) and 82% (rRNA 12S) supported this finding. With the exception of the rRNA 12S fragment, similarly strong bootstrap support was observed for the maximum parsimony analysis. The apparent differentiation within Singapore might be due to some form of random drift, such as founder effect, associated with habitat fragmentation stemming from artificial modification of the landscape which has occurred since the founding of Singapore in 1819. Fragmentation of the tropical lowland rainforest, therefore, seems to have resulted in two primary sub-populations of macaques on the island. © National University of Singapore.

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