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Phylogeography of mitochondrial DNA variation in brown bears and polar bears

January 1, 2000

We analyzed 286 nucleotides of the middle portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 61 brown bears from three locations in Alaska and 55 polar bears from Arctic Canada and Arctic Siberia to test our earlier observations of paraphyly between polar bears and brown bears as well as to test the extreme uniqueness of mitochondrial DNA types of brown bears on Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof (ABC) islands of southeastern Alaska. We also investigated the phylogeography of brown bears of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula in relation to other Alaskan brown bears because the former are being threatened by increased human development. We predicted that: (1) mtDNA paraphyly between brown bears and polar bears would be upheld, (2) the mtDNA uniqueness of brown bears of the ABC islands would be upheld, and (3) brown bears of the Kenai Peninsula would belong to either clade II or clade III of brown bears of our earlier studies of mtDNA. All of our predictions were upheld through the analysis of these additional samples.

Publication Year 2000
Title Phylogeography of mitochondrial DNA variation in brown bears and polar bears
DOI 10.1006/mpev.1999.0730
Authors Gerald F. Shields, Deborah Adams, Gerald W. Garner, Martine Labelle, Jacy Pietsch, Malcolm Ramsay, Charles Schwartz, Kimberly Titus, Scott Williamson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Index ID 70159673
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center