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Article

Diversity and Paleodemography of the Addax (Addax nasomaculatus), a Saharan Antelope on the Verge of Extinction

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Evolutionary Adaptive Genomics, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24-25, 14476 Potsdam, Germany
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Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science, Invalidenstraße 43, 10115 Berlin, Germany
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Section for Evolutionary Genomics, The GLOBE Institute, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5-7, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark
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Institute of Pathology, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
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Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology SB RAS, 8/2 Acad. Lavrentiev Ave, 630090 Novosibirsk, Russia
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School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham NG11 8NS, UK
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School of Ecology and Environment, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
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Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, George Mason University, Front Royal, VA 22630, USA
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Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Center for Species Survival, National Zoological Park, Front Royal, VA 22630, USA
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Computer Technologies Laboratory, ITMO University, 197101 Saint Petersburg, Russia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Oscar Lao and Michail T Rovatsos
Genes 2021, 12(8), 1236; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081236
Received: 17 July 2021 / Revised: 5 August 2021 / Accepted: 8 August 2021 / Published: 11 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Conservation Genetics and Genomics of Small Wildlife Populations)
Since the 19th century, the addax (Addax nasomaculatus) has lost approximately 99% of its former range. Along with its close relatives, the blue antelope (Hippotragus leucophaeus) and the scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), the addax may be the third large African mammal species to go extinct in the wild in recent times. Despite this, the evolutionary history of this critically endangered species remains virtually unknown. To gain insight into the population history of the addax, we used hybridization capture to generate ten complete mitochondrial genomes from historical samples and assembled a nuclear genome. We found that both mitochondrial and nuclear diversity are low compared to other African bovids. Analysis of mitochondrial genomes revealed a most recent common ancestor ~32 kya (95% CI 11–58 kya) and weak phylogeographic structure, indicating that the addax likely existed as a highly mobile, panmictic population across its Sahelo–Saharan range in the past. PSMC analysis revealed a continuous decline in effective population size since ~2 Ma, with short intermediate increases at ~500 and ~44 kya. Our results suggest that the addax went through a major bottleneck in the Late Pleistocene, remaining at low population size prior to the human disturbances of the last few centuries. View Full-Text
Keywords: Addax nasomaculatus; antelope; archival DNA; bovid; conservation; critically endangered; genome assembly; museum collections; PSMC Addax nasomaculatus; antelope; archival DNA; bovid; conservation; critically endangered; genome assembly; museum collections; PSMC
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hempel, E.; Westbury, M.V.; Grau, J.H.; Trinks, A.; Paijmans, J.L.A.; Kliver, S.; Barlow, A.; Mayer, F.; Müller, J.; Chen, L.; Koepfli, K.-P.; Hofreiter, M.; Bibi, F. Diversity and Paleodemography of the Addax (Addax nasomaculatus), a Saharan Antelope on the Verge of Extinction. Genes 2021, 12, 1236. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081236

AMA Style

Hempel E, Westbury MV, Grau JH, Trinks A, Paijmans JLA, Kliver S, Barlow A, Mayer F, Müller J, Chen L, Koepfli K-P, Hofreiter M, Bibi F. Diversity and Paleodemography of the Addax (Addax nasomaculatus), a Saharan Antelope on the Verge of Extinction. Genes. 2021; 12(8):1236. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081236

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hempel, Elisabeth, Michael V. Westbury, José H. Grau, Alexandra Trinks, Johanna L.A. Paijmans, Sergei Kliver, Axel Barlow, Frieder Mayer, Johannes Müller, Lei Chen, Klaus-Peter Koepfli, Michael Hofreiter, and Faysal Bibi. 2021. "Diversity and Paleodemography of the Addax (Addax nasomaculatus), a Saharan Antelope on the Verge of Extinction" Genes 12, no. 8: 1236. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12081236

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