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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kaur T.,University Tunku Abdul Rahman | Japning J.R.R.,Peninsular Malaysia | Sidik I.,Indonesian Institute of Sciences | Chong L.K.,University Tunku Abdul Rahman | Ong A.H.K.,University Tunku Abdul Rahman
Biochemical Genetics | Year: 2013

The genetic diversity of the endangered crocodile Tomistoma schlegelii was characterized using the protein coding ND 6-tRNAglu-cyt b and the cytochrome b-control region (cyt b-CR) markers. Concatenate data revealed six haplotypes with an overall haplotype diversity of 0.769 ± 0.039; nucleotide diversity was 0.00535 ± 0.00172. A nearest-neighbor analysis showed that all individuals clustered with four geographic regions (Sumatra, Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, and East Kalimantan) and were genetically differentiated. With the exception of the individuals from haplotype H2, which occurred in both Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak, all other haplotypes were geographically distinct. The H4 lineage, which was found to be the most divergent, clustered exclusively in the basal clade in all phylogenetic trees, and the haplotype network was unconnected at the 95% reconnection limit, suggesting further investigation to establish its possible status as a distinct evolutionary significant unit or a cryptic species. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

City parks are used for jogging, picnicking, even as scenic venues for wedding photoshoots, and serve as green lungs, providing fresh air for the urban community. But these parks are also important for local wildlife, providing refuges for animals which need green spaces to survive. Since 1990, the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur has seen an 87% loss in green land, a 77% increase in the human population, and rapid urban sprawl across the outlying Klang Valley. Considering that KL is located at the heart of the highly-threatened biodiversity hotspot of Southeast Asia, understanding the biodiversity of city parks is critical, but has received little attention. Butterflies react rapidly to environmental change due to their short lifecycle and high mobility. An estimated 20%-40% of the butterfly species of Southeast Asia are threatened with extinction due to urbanisation and deforestation across the region. To understand how well KL city parks can function as refuges for butterflies, a group of scientists led by Dr. John-James Wilson from the University of Malaya surveyed butterflies at ten parks across KL. The study also examined the effects of park age and park size on butterfly diversity. More than 1,000 species of butterflies are found in Peninsular Malaysia but only 60 species were recorded across KL parks. Almost all the butterflies recorded were widely distributed, common, species suggesting that species with broad geographical distributions are more likely to survive in cities. The lack of rare species in KL parks, which is similar to findings from Singapore and Hong Kong, indicates tropical city parks are poor substitutes to natural habitat for maintaining populations of rare butterflies. The study also discovered that more butterflies species are found in larger parks and in older parks. Within the parks, the highest number of butterfly species was found at wild sites, those with less intensive management. "In order to promote butterfly diversity in tropical city parks, park managers should set aside areas of the parks as unmanaged, semi-natural areas" says lead author UM Phd student, Mr. Kong Wah Sing. "Where management is necessary, the managers should use a diverse planting scheme of native flowers." More information: Kong-Wah Sing et al. Urban parks: refuges for tropical butterflies in Southeast Asia?, Urban Ecosystems (2016). DOI: 10.1007/s11252-016-0542-4

Elliza M.N.,Section of Biotechnology | Elliza M.N.,National University of Malaysia | Shukor M.N.,National University of Malaysia | Othman N.,Peninsular Malaysia | Md-Zain B.M.,National University of Malaysia
Malaysian Applied Biology | Year: 2015

Asian elephants are classified as an endangered species on the IUCN red list, warranting more research and conservation efforts to protect them. A study of the distribution of haplotypes among Asian elephants in Peninsular Malaysia was performed using a partial DNA sequencing of a D-loop region. In this study, 10 haplotypes (Hap01–Hap10) were detected in Peninsular Malaysian populations with a high haplotype diversity (Ĥ) of 83%. Hap01 was shared by Kelantan (n = 1), Johor (n = 2), Pahang (n = 2), and Perak (n = 2). The other shared haplotype was Hap06, which was evident in the Pahang (n = 1) and Johor (n = 1) samples. DnaSP analysis demonstrated that low genetic diversity (π) was observed in Peninsular Malaysian elephants (0.55%). Conversely, the gene flow was high (Nm = 9.65 migrants per generation). In a test of population subdivision, all pairwise comparisons for Peninsular Malaysia were low (0.00 to 0.13) except for Kelantan–Pahang (0.57). Our results demonstrated that the genetic diversity was low within the different populations of Peninsular Malaysia. The level of genetic differentiation was also low, but the gene flow was high regardless of the geographic distance of the Asian elephant populations in Peninsular Malaysia. © 2015, Malaysian Society of Applied Biology. All rights reserved.

Md-Zain B.M.,National University of Malaysia | Mohamad M.,National University of Malaysia | Ernie-Muneerah M.A.,National University of Malaysia | Ampeng A.,National University of Malaysia | And 3 more authors.
Genetics and Molecular Research | Year: 2010

Mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase II (COII) gene sequences of Malaysian Cercopithecidae were examined to ascertain their phylogenetic relationships. Colobinae were represented by the genera Presbytis, Trachypithecus and Nasalis, while the genus Macaca represented Cercopithecinae. DNA amplification and sequencing of the COII gene was performed on 16 samples. Symphalangus syndactylus (Hylobatidae) was used as the outgroup. Data were analyzed using both character (maximum parsimony) and distance (neighbor-joining) methods. Tree topologies indicated that Colobinae and Cercopithecinae have their own distinct monophyletic clade. This result was well supported by bootstrap values and genetic distances derived from the Kimura-2-parameter algorithm. Separation of Macaca nemestrina from M. fascicularis was also well supported by bootstrap values. In addition, tree topologies indicate a good resolution of the Colobinae phylogenetic relationships at the intergeneric level, but with low bootstrap support. The position of Nasalis remained problematic in both trees. Overall, COII is a good gene candidate for portraying the phylogenetic relationships of Malaysian primates at the inter- and intra-subfamily levels. & Copy; FUNPEC-RP.

Rosli M.K.A.,National University of Malaysia | Syed-Shabthar S.M.F.,National University of Malaysia | Rovie-Ryan J.J.,Peninsular Malaysia | Zainuddin R.,University Malaysia Sarawak | And 3 more authors.
Turkish Journal of Zoology | Year: 2016

The gaur (Bos gaurus) is one of the two extant wild cattle species that can be found in several Asian countries. This species is threatened by extinction due to declining wild populations. Selembu is the name of the Malayan gaur × domestic cattle hybrid. We planned this study to determine the position of the Malayan gaur and its hybrid, the selembu, in the phylogenetics of the genus Bos (Bos gaurus, Bos javanicus, Bos indicus, and Bos taurus). The mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene and the control region (D-loop) were sequenced in 29 Bos samples. Sequences from one water buffalo (Bubalus) were used as an outgroup. Phylogenetic trees were reconstructed using neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony in PAUP 4.0b10 and Bayesian inference in MrBayes 3.1. All tree topologies indicated that the Malayan gaur belongs to its own monophyletic clade that is distinct from other species of the genus Bos. Selembu samples were grouped in zebu and/or taurine cattle clades. The results also indicated that there are significant embranchment differences in the tree topologies between wild (Malayan gaur and banteng/Bali cattle) and domestic (taurine cattle, zebu cattle, and selembu) cattle. The results showed the complete maternal inheritance situation among the studied samples of all cattle species. © TÜBİTAK.

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