Phylogeography of mitochondrial DNA variation in brown bears and polar bears

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
By: , and 



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.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Phylogeography of mitochondrial DNA variation in brown bears and polar bears
Series title Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
DOI 10.1006/mpev.1999.0730
Volume 15
Issue 2
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher Elselvier
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 8 p.
First page 319
Last page 326
Country Canada, Russia, United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Admiralty Island, Banks Island, Baranof Island, Chichagof Island, Franz Josef Land, Kenai Peninsula, Manitoba, Novaya Zemlya, Siberia, Wrangel Island
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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