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Population genetics and conservation of the endemic Mus cypriacus.

Riccioli, F., 2020. Population genetics and conservation of the endemic Mus cypriacus. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

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RICCIOLI, Francesca_M.Res._2019.pdf



Endemic species have a higher risk of extinction due to habitat destruction, introduction of invasive species, pollution, or overexploitation. Mus cypriacus was first described in 2006 and is one of the two endemic rodents from Cyprus. It diverged from Mus macedonicus 0.53 million years ago, probably during the Mindel glaciation. Nowadays, M. cypriacus is mostly found in areas with vast cultivation at moderate altitudes (300-900 metres). Although, it could share habitat with Mus musculus domesticus, it is almost absent from urban areas or in areas with massive anthropogenic pressure. Even though M. cypriacus has been described to be of least concerned in the IUCN red list, there is lack of information on its ecology and demography, as well as a poor understanding of its genetic population structure. Using the mitochondrial D-loop, single nucleotide polymorphisms and microsatellite data, I investigated the genetic diversity of M. cypriacus, the genetic structure of different M. cypriacus populations and tested for possible hybridisation between M. m. domesticus and M. cypriacus. As expected, M. cypriacus was found to be closely related to M. macedonicus using mitochondrial DNA. No phylogeographic pattern was found for M. cypriacus on Cyprus with all the markers tested (mitochondrial D-loop, microsatellites and SNPs). The level of genetic diversity of M. cypriacus was comparable to the one found in M. m. domesticus (e.g. average number of alleles per loci 2.8 for M. m. domesticus and 2.5 for M. cypriacus, based on the SNPs). No genetic signature of hybridisation between M. m. domesticus and M. cypriacus was detected. Overall, the data suggested that M. cypriacus is comprised of a single stable panmictic population. However, due to the small sample size, more research is needed to confirm these results. Furthermore, only little is known on the population size, population trends and the distribution of this species. Future work needs to estimate population sizes, provide a detailed species distribution map and be complemented with mark-release-recapture work to better understand the dispersal of the species.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:population genetics; Mus cypriacus; endemic; conservation genetics rad sequencing; mitochondrial D-loop; microsatellite
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34275
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:10 Jul 2020 09:45
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:23


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