Sunday, September 13, 2015

[Herpetology • 2012] Molecular Phylogeny of the Softshell Turtle Genus Nilssonia revisited, with First Records of N. formosa for China and Wild-living N. nigricans for Bangladesh


Fig. 2. (A) Nilssonia formosa, juvenile (pet trade, Yangon, Myanmar), photo: P. Praschag; (B) N. gangetica (Brahmaputra clade), subadult (Biswanath Ghat, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (C) N. gangetica (Brahmaputra clade), adult (Nagsankar Temple, east of Tezpur, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (D) N. gangetica (Mahanadi clade), adult (Mahanadi River, Narsinghpur, Odisha, India), photo: P. Praschag; (E) N. hurum, juvenile (Subarnarekha River, Sibirpur, Odisha, India), photo: P. Praschag; (F) N. leithii, subadult (Supa River, Karnataka, India), photo: K. Vasudevan; (G) N. nigricans, juvenile (Jia Bhoroli River, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (H) N. nigricans, subadult (Biswanath Ghat, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (I) N. nigricans, adult (Tripura Sundari Temple, Udaipur, Tripura, India), photo: P. Praschag; (J, K) N. nigricans, unusually pale-coloured subadult (Manikchhari near Chittagong, Bangladesh), photos: S.M.A. Rashid.

Abstract

Based on 2354 bp of mitochondrial DNA (12S rRNA, ND4, cyt b) and 2573 bp of nuclear DNA (C-mos, ODC, R35), we re-examine the phylogenetic relationships of Nilssonia species. Individual and combined analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA using Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian approaches confirm the monophyly of the genus. While mitochondrial data alone could not resolve the phylogenetic position of N. formosa, nuclear data support a sister group relationship of N. formosa and the remaining Nilssonia species. Combined analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA suggest the following branching pattern, with N. formosa as the sister taxon of the remaining species: N. formosa + ((N. gangetica + N. leithii) + (N. hurum + N. nigricans)). Among the samples we studied is the first record of N. formosa for Yunnan, China, and the first record of wild-living N. nigricans for Bangladesh. In N. gangetica, each of the studied major river basins harbours a genetically distinct population, suggesting that at least three distinct management units should be distinguished: (1) Brahmaputra River; (2) Indus and Ganges Rivers plus Ganges Delta; and (3) Mahanadi River.

Key words: Reptilia, Testudines, Trionychidae, Asia, Bangladesh, China, India, Myanmar, Pakistan.




Fig. 2. (A) Nilssonia formosa, juvenile (pet trade, Yangon, Myanmar), photo: P. Praschag; (B) N. gangetica (Brahmaputra clade), subadult (Biswanath Ghat, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (C) N. gangetica (Brahmaputra clade), adult (Nagsankar Temple, east of Tezpur, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (D) N. gangetica (Mahanadi clade), adult (Mahanadi River, Narsinghpur, Odisha, India), photo: P. Praschag; (E) N. hurum, juvenile (Subarnarekha River, Sibirpur, Odisha, India), photo: P. Praschag; (F) N. leithii, subadult (Supa River, Karnataka, India), photo: K. Vasudevan; (G) N. nigricans, juvenile (Jia Bhoroli River, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (H) N. nigricans, subadult (Biswanath Ghat, Assam, India), photo: P. Praschag; (I) N. nigricans, adult (Tripura Sundari Temple, Udaipur, Tripura, India), photo: P. Praschag; (J, K) N. nigricans, unusually pale-coloured subadult (Manikchhari near Chittagong, Bangladesh), photos: S.M.A. Rashid.


Nicole Liebing, Peter Praschag, Rupali Gosh, Karthikeyan Vasudevan, S.M.A. Rashid, Ding-qi Rao, Heiko Stuckas and Uwe Fritz. 2012. Molecular Phylogeny of the Softshell Turtle Genus Nilssonia revisited, with First Records of N. formosa for China and Wild-living N. nigricans for Bangladesh. 
Vertebrate Zoology. 62(2); 261–272. 



Das, I., Sirsi, S., Vasudevan, K., and Murthy, B.H.C.K. 2014. Nilssonia leithii (Gray 1872) – Leith’s Softshell Turtle. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs. No. 5, pp. 075.1–5, doi: dx.doi.org/10.3854/crm.5.075.leithii.v1.2014, IUCN-TFTSG.org/cbftt/.

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