The European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus (O.c) lives all over the world and it represents an important resource for many predators. It has been classified as a Near-Threatened species in the Red List of Vertebrates of Italy. It is present in mediterranean basin as two known subspecies: O.c. cuniculus and O.c. algirus. The mediterranean geographic distribution of the two subspecies is still not well known. In particular, in Sicily, lacking of deep studies, is based on the body size and morphological characteristics; there wasn’t a complete description of the actual existing subspecies and previous studies only reported the morphological characteristics of the sicilian rabbit population. In this study, we analyzed genetic data, mitochondrial (mt) cytochrome b (cytb), from the rabbit population in Sicily in a phylogenetic framework. This is the first study concerning the genetics of the sicilian rabbit, to reconstruct intraspecific phylogeny by comparing cytb mtDNA sequences of 13 newly isolated O.cuniculus haplotypes from Sicily and 7 individuals from other countries (Canada, France, Mexico, North Italy, South Africa, Spain, Sweden). Our results show that the rabbit population from Sicily has a mitochondrial type (Lineage B) that has been previously shown to be associated with O. c. cuniculus and is similar to sequences from rabbits in North-Est Spain, Southern France, Sweden and South Africa.
|Numero di pagine||9|
|Rivista||Turkish Journal of Zoology|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2017|
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