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Evolutionary History of Snub-nosed Monkeys (Rhinopithecus spp.) and Population Genetic Structure of the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey (R. brelichi)

dc.contributor.advisorKappeler, Peter M. Prof.
dc.contributor.authorYang, Mouyude
dc.titleEvolutionary History of Snub-nosed Monkeys (Rhinopithecus spp.) and Population Genetic Structure of the Guizhou Snub-nosed Monkey (R. brelichi)de
dc.contributor.refereeKappeler, Peter M. Prof.
dc.subject.dnb570 Biowissenschaftende
dc.description.abstractengThe colobines (leaf monkeys) represent a diverse group of Old World primates. They comprise ten genera with major radiations in Africa and Asia. As in most other primate radiations, recent molecular studies detected discordant gene trees depending on respective markers. Thus, the phylogeny among these genera remains debated. For the odd-nosed monkeys, one of the two major groups of Asian colobines and comprising ten species within four genera (Nasalis, Simias, Rhinopithecus and Pygathrix), the phylogenetic relationships among genera and species are also still largely unknown. The genus Rhinopithecus represents one genus of the odd-nosed monkey group. It comprises five species, of which three are endemic to China (R. roxellana, R. bieti, and R. brelichi), one occurs in northern Vietnam (R. avunculus) and one in Myanmar (R. strykeri). All of them are classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered (IUCN, 2011). Among the three Chinese snub-nosed monkey species, R. brelichi shows the smallest wild population size and the most restricted distribution. Information about its population genetic structure is still missing. In my thesis, I applied a top-down approach to clarify the phylogenetic relationships among all colobines genera, the phylogenetic relationships among the odd-nosed monkey species and the population genetic structure of one of the most endangered species of the colobines, the Guizhou snub-nosed monkey (R. brelichi). The phylogenetic relationships among colobines genera are analyzed in this study by using maternal-, paternal- and biparental-inherited molecular markers (Chapter 2). The phylogenetic reconstructions from all these markers show similar results. However, a few discordances occurred, which are most likely caused by sex-specific introgression and hybridization among ancestral lineages. However, the monophyly of the odd-nosed monkeys and the relationships among genera appeared robust and was supported by the various topologies based on different genetic markers. To further understand the phylogenetic relationships within the odd-nosed monkeys nine of the ten species were analyzed based on complete mitochondrial genome data (Chapter 3) providing the most comprehensive overview published so far. R. strykeri was not included in this part of my thesis, because this species was just recently discovered and genetic material was not available. Among the odd-nosed monkeys, the genus Rhinopithecus is most basal, whereas Pygathrix forms a sister lineage to the Nasalis + Simias clade. Within Rhinopithecus, R. roxellana + R. brelichi form a sister clade to R. bieti, while R. avunculus appears as the most basal taxon. For Pygathrix, the analysis supported P. nigripes as the basal taxon to the P. cinerea + P. nemaeus clade. The diversification of odd-nosed monkeys into genera started roughly 6.85 mya, with the major speciation events occurring during the Pleistocene. R. brelichi with a maximum of 800 individuals in the wild is one of the rarest Chinese primates. However, population genetic data is crucial for assessing the persistence of a population, especially for endangered species with a small population. Previous population genetic studies focused on R. roxellana and R. bieti, but no such information was available for R. brelichi. Therefore, the aim of chapter 4 was an assessment of the population genetic and demographic history of R. brelichi in comparison with respective data from the two other Chinese species (R. roxellana, R. bieti). The population genetic variation and the demographic history of this endangered species were assessed by using the hypervariable region I of the mitochondrial control region. All three Chinese snub-nosed monkey species showed rather low genetic diversity, while R. brelichi has the lowest. All tests for the demographic history proposed population equilibrium in R. brelichi. The low genetic diversity, the small population size and the restricted distribution imply that R. brelichi might be the most vulnerable species among the three Chinese snub-nosed monkeys. Future studies should apply nuclear data to further understand the phylogenetic relationships among the odd-nosed monkeys species and to answer questions about possible ancient hybridization events as depicted for colobines genera. For R. strykeri the phylogenetic position within the odd-nosed monkeys should be examined to complete the picture. Further detailed population genetic analyses for R. brelichi should be applied by using nuclear markers, e.g. microsatellites to get more detailed information about the genetic diversity and demographic history of R. brelichi. This information is also required for the two most endangered species of the genus Rhinopithecus, R. avunculus and R.
dc.contributor.coRefereeHeymann, Eckhard W. Prof.
dc.contributor.thirdRefereeWalter, Lutz Prof.
dc.subject.topicGöttingen Centre for Biodiversity and Ecology (GCBE)de
dc.subject.engEvolutionary Historyde
dc.subject.engPopulation Genetic Structurede
dc.subject.engNuclear DNAde
dc.subject.engMitochondrial DNAde
dc.subject.engMobile elementsde
dc.subject.engSnub-nosed Monkeys (Rhinopithecus spp.)de
dc.affiliation.instituteGöttinger Zentrum für Biodiversitätsforschung und Ökologie (GZBÖ)de
dc.subject.gokfullWJV 000 Populationsgenetik und Variabilitätde

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