Genetic diversity of the Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis Olfers, 1818) in Southern and Southeastern Brazil

  • Trinca C
  • Waldemarin H
  • Eizirik E
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Abstract

The Neotropical otter is one of the least known otter species, and it is considered to be threatened to various degrees throughout its geographic range. Little information exists on the ecological characteristics of this species, and no genetic study has been published about it until now, hampering the design of adequate conservation strategies for its populations. To contribute with genetic information to comprehensive conservation efforts on behalf of L. longicaudis, we characterized the molecular diversity of the 5’ portion of the mtDNA control region in samples from this species collected in Southern and Southeastern Brazil. The sequence analysis revealed a high level of haplotype diversity (h = 0.819; SE = 0.0052) and nucleotide variability ranging from 0.0039 to 0.0067. One of the sampled haplotypes was the most common in both regions and, from this sequence, several other (locally occurring) haplotypes could be derived by single point mutations. No significant genetic differentiation was observed between the Southern and Southeastern regions.

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Authors

  • CS. Trinca

  • HF. Waldemarin

  • E. Eizirik

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