Lack of association between winter coat colour and genetic population structure in the Japanese hare, Lepus brachyurus (Lagomorpha

Leporidae)

Mitsuo Nunome, Gohta Kinoshita, Morihiko Tomozawa, Harumi Torii, Rikyu Matsuki, Fumio Yamada, Yoichi Matsuda, Hitoshi Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Seasonal changes in fur colour in some mammalian species have long attracted the attention of biologists, especially in species showing population variation in these seasonal changes. Genetic differences among populations that show differences in seasonal changes in coat colour have been poorly studied. Because the Japanese hare (Lepus brachyurus) has two allopatric morphotypes that show remarkably different coat colours in winter, we examined the population genetic structure of the species using partial sequences of the SRY gene and six autosomal genes: three coat colour-related genes (ASIP, TYR, and MC1R) and three putatively neutral genes (TSHB, APOB, and SPTBN1). The phylogenetic tree of SRY sequences exhibited two distinct lineages that diverged approsimately 1 Mya. Although the two lineages exhibited a clear allopatric distribution, it was not consistent with the distribution of morphotypes. In addition, six nuclear gene sequences failed to reveal genetic differences between morphotypes. Population network trees for 11 expedient populations divided the populations into four groups. Genetic structure analysis revealed an admixture of four genetic clusters in L.brachyurus, two of which showed large genetic differences. Our results suggest ancient vicariance in L.brachyurus, and we detected no genetic differences between the two morphotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-776
Number of pages16
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume111
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Leporidae
Lagomorpha
Lepus
hares
population structure
morphotype
winter
color
gene
genetic structure
vicariance
nucleotide sequences
genes
population genetics
fur
biologists
phylogenetics
seasonal variation
phylogeny

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Natural selection
  • Phylogeography
  • Seasonal change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Lack of association between winter coat colour and genetic population structure in the Japanese hare, Lepus brachyurus (Lagomorpha : Leporidae). / Nunome, Mitsuo; Kinoshita, Gohta; Tomozawa, Morihiko; Torii, Harumi; Matsuki, Rikyu; Yamada, Fumio; Matsuda, Yoichi; Suzuki, Hitoshi.

In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Vol. 111, No. 4, 2014, p. 761-776.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nunome, Mitsuo ; Kinoshita, Gohta ; Tomozawa, Morihiko ; Torii, Harumi ; Matsuki, Rikyu ; Yamada, Fumio ; Matsuda, Yoichi ; Suzuki, Hitoshi. / Lack of association between winter coat colour and genetic population structure in the Japanese hare, Lepus brachyurus (Lagomorpha : Leporidae). In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 2014 ; Vol. 111, No. 4. pp. 761-776.
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