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The Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat Shows Increased Genetic Divergence in the Ethiopian Highlands and in an Area of Rapid Urbanisation

Riesle-Sbarbaro, S; Amponsah-Mensah, K; de Vries, S; Nicolas, V; Lalis, A; Suu-Ire, R; Cunningham, AA; ... Sargan, DR; + view all (2018) The Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat Shows Increased Genetic Divergence in the Ethiopian Highlands and in an Area of Rapid Urbanisation. Ecology and Evolution , 8 (24) pp. 12803-12820. 10.1002/ece3.4709. Green open access

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Abstract

The Gambian epauletted fruit bat (Epomophorus gambianus) is an abundant species that roosts in both urban and rural settings. The possible role of E. gambianus as a reservoir host of zoonotic diseases underlines the need to better understand the species movement patterns. So far, neither observational nor phylogenetic studies have identified the dispersal range or behavior of this species. Comparative analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear markers from 20 localities across the known distribution of E. gambianus showed population panmixia, except for the populations in Ethiopia and southern Ghana (Accra and Ve‐Golokwati). The Ethiopian population may be ancestral and is highly divergent to the species across the rest of its range, possibly reflecting isolation of an ancient colonization along an east–west axis. Mitochondrial haplotypes in the Accra population display a strong signature of a past bottleneck event; evidence of either an ancient or recent bottleneck using microsatellite data, however, was not detected. Demographic analyses identified population expansion in most of the colonies, except in the female line of descent in the Accra population. The molecular analyses of the colonies from Ethiopia and southern Ghana show gender dispersal bias, with the mitochondrial DNA fixation values over ten times those of the nuclear markers. These findings indicate free mixing of the species across great distances, which should inform future epidemiological studies.

Type: Article
Title: The Gambian Epauletted Fruit Bat Shows Increased Genetic Divergence in the Ethiopian Highlands and in an Area of Rapid Urbanisation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4709
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4709
Language: English
Additional information: © 2018 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Epomophorus gambianus, Africa, bottleneck, nuclear-microsatellites, mitochondrial-DNA, gene flow
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059033
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