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Speciation and intrasubspecific variation of Bornean orangutans, Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus

Warren, K.S., Verschoor, E.J., Langenhuijzen, S., Heriyanto, , Swan, R.A., Vigilant, L. and Heeney, J.L. (2001) Speciation and intrasubspecific variation of Bornean orangutans, Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 18 (4). pp. 472-480.

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Abstract

Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences of orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) from six different populations on the island of Borneo were determined and analyzed for evidence of regional diversity and were compared separately with orangutans from the island of Sumatra. Within the Bornean population, four distinct subpopulations were identified. Furthermore, the results of this study revealed marked divergence, supportive evidence of speciation between Sumatran and Bornean orangutans. This study demonstrates that, as an entire population, Bornean orangutans have not experienced a serious genetic bottleneck, which has been suggested as the cause of low diversity in humans and east African chimpanzees. Based on these new data, it is estimated that Bornean and Sumatran orangutans diverged approximately 1.1 MYA and that the four distinct Bornean populations diverged 860,000 years ago. These findings have important implications for management, breeding, and reintroduction practices in orangutan conservation efforts.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/3648
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