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Mitochondrial Genome Evolution, Genetic Diversity, and Population Structure in British Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius)

School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NJ, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Antonio Carapelli and Francesco Nardi
Genes 2021, 12(2), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12020138
Received: 23 December 2020 / Revised: 18 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 21 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Evolution of the Mitochondrial DNA in Animals)
The European water vole (Arvicola amphibius) is a rodent within the subfamily Arvicolinae. In Britain, water voles have declined rapidly during the last century, making them a conservation priority. The relationship of Arvicola to other genera within Arvicolinae remains debated. Additionally, the impact that captive breeding programs in Britain are having on the genetic diversity of water voles is unknown. We use available mitochondrial genomes to construct the phylogeny of species within Arvicolinae, followed by sequencing the mitochondrial DNA control region of 17 individuals from a captive population of water voles in Britain to assess their genetic diversity and population structure. Our study first provides an updated phylogenetic tree of Arvicolinae using the mitochondrial genome of 31 species. Second, our results show considerable genetic diversity in the captive population of water voles, when compared with natural populations in Britain. We confirm the grouping of British water voles into two clades, with all captive individuals found in the English/Welsh clade. Moreover, captive water voles clustered closely with populations in the South East and East of England. The mitochondrial genome provides a useful marker to study the phylogenetics of this rodent clade and in addition, our study provides support for the breeding program at Wildwood Trust and provides a framework for future conservation genetics studies in this species. View Full-Text
Keywords: mtDNA; Arvicolinae; water vole; phylogenetics; population genetics mtDNA; Arvicolinae; water vole; phylogenetics; population genetics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kirkland, C.; Farré, M. Mitochondrial Genome Evolution, Genetic Diversity, and Population Structure in British Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius). Genes 2021, 12, 138. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12020138

AMA Style

Kirkland C, Farré M. Mitochondrial Genome Evolution, Genetic Diversity, and Population Structure in British Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius). Genes. 2021; 12(2):138. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12020138

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kirkland, Corey, and Marta Farré. 2021. "Mitochondrial Genome Evolution, Genetic Diversity, and Population Structure in British Water Voles (Arvicola amphibius)" Genes 12, no. 2: 138. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12020138

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