The geographical patterns of the genetic structure of Hipposideros armiger in China were assessed by analyzing sequence variation in the mitochondrial DNA control region. Analysis of molecular variance revealed a very strong genetic structure among 5 regions in H. armiger. A neighbor-joining tree, haplotype network construction by TCS and multidimensional scaling plots all showed significant geographic differentiation among 5 regions. The high genetic structure detected in H. armiger could be a consequence of poor dispersal ability, local adaptation, or marked female philopatry. The lack of genetic structure among 3 regions separated by the Gaoligong Range and the Qiongzhou Strait could be due to incomplete lineage sorting. Our estimated times of divergence for H. armiger populations suggested a relatively recent split. The S Yunnan population with the highest genetic diversity and the Hainan population with the lowest genetic diversity should be equally given priority for conservation. Although H. armiger has been shown to carry viruses implicated in human disease, we find little evidence for population mixing. We thus suggest minimizing disturbance to bats’ roosting caves for minimizing the potential risk of virus transmission.
Keywords: Chiroptera; conservation, control region; genetic diversity; population structure
Journal Article. 6479 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Genetics and Genomics
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