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Cytochrome b gene for species identification of the conservation animals

Hsieh, H. and Chiang, H. and Tsai, L. and Lai, S. and Huang, N. and Linacre, A.M.T. and Lee, J.C. (2001) Cytochrome b gene for species identification of the conservation animals. Forensic Science International, 122 (1). pp. 7-18. ISSN 0379-0738

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Abstract

A partial DNA sequence of cytochrome b gene was used to identify the remains of endangered animals and species endemic to Taiwan. The conservation of animals species included in this study were: the formosan gem-faced civets, leopard cats, tigers, clouded leopards, lion, formosan muntjacs, formosan sika deers, formosan sambars, formosan serows, water buffalo, formosan pangolins and formosan macaques. The control species used included domestic cats, domestic dogs, domestic sheeps, domestic cattles, domestic pigs and humans. Heteroplasmy was detected in the formosan macaque, domestic pig and domestic cats. The frequencies of heteroplasmy in these animals were about 0.25% (1 in 402 bp). Sequences were aligned by Pileup program of GCG computer package, and the phylogenetic tree was constructed by the neighbor-joining method. The results of sequence comparison showed that the percentage range of sequence diversity in the same species was from 0.25 to 2.74%, and that between the different species was from 5.97 to 34.83%. The results of phylogenetic analysis showed that the genetic distance between the different species was from 6.33 to 40.59. Animals of the same species, both the endangered animal species and domestic animals, were clustered together in the neighbor-joining tree. Three unknown samples of animal remains were identified by this system. The partial sequence of cytochrome b gene adopted in this study proved to be usable for animal identification.