The phylogeographic structure of the mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea; Procyonidae, Carnivora), and its phylogenetic relationships with other coati species (Nasua nasua and Nasua narica) as inferred by mitochondrial DNA

Manuel Ruiz-García, Maria Fernanda Jaramillo, Carlos Herney Cáceres-Martínez, Joseph Mark Shostell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Carnivores are important elements of Neotropical biomes that are in need of conservation efforts. However, successful conservation methods rely on the identification of accurate evolutionary taxa. Unfortunately, in the case of Procyonidae systematics, there has been little knowledge in some genera. Two of these genera are Nasuella and Nasua, also known as the coatis. Herein, we analyzed a dataset obtained in South America and Central America, containing sequences of three mitochondrial genes (ND5, Cyt-b, and D-loop) collected from 42 mountain coati (Nasuella olivacea) specimens, plus 50 white-nosed coati (Nasua narica) and 51 ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua) (total sample of 143). Our results support four main findings. (1) We detected four significantly different groups of N. olivacea. There were two small groups, one distributed in the Central Colombian Andean Cordillera and Western Ecuadorian Andean Cordillera, and another in the Western Colombian and Ecuadorian Andean Cordilleras. The specimens of these small groups were phenotypically un-differentiable from N. olivacea, but their mtDNA were more related to that of N. nasua than to the mtDNA of the other N. olivacea. The other two groups of N. olivacea contained the major part of the specimens analyzed. One is in the Eastern Colombian Andean Cordillera and is molecularly un-differentiable from the proposed “new” endemic Venezuelan species, Nasuella meridiensis. The ancestor of this group gave origin to another expanded group in the Western and Central Colombian and Ecuadorian Andean Cordilleras. (2) Different analyses (network, temporal splits, genetic diversity analyses) showed that the mitochondrial haplotypes of N. nasua were the first to appear (temporal diversification during the Late Miocene, and Pliocene), followed by the haplotypes of the current groups of Nasuella (temporal diversification during the Pliocene and beginning of the Pleistocene), and then the haplotypes that of the Central American N. narica (temporal diversification during the Pleistocene). Within N. nasua, we detected, at least, four highly differentiated groups that contain cryptic species or highly differentiated subspecies. (3) All of the taxa we analyzed showed high levels of mitochondrial genetic diversity, but N. nasua showed the highest levels, whereas N. narica showed the lowest levels. (4) Some groups of N. olivacea, and N. narica showed Pleistocene population expansions, but all the taxa showed a very strong signal of population declination in the last 20,000 years ago (YA), which could be correlated with the drastic climatic changes in that epoch.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)521-548
    Number of pages28
    JournalMammalian Biology
    Volume100
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Thanks to Dr. Diana Alvarez, Pablo Escobar-Armel, Nicolás Lichilín, Luisa Fernanda Castellanos-Mora, Dr. Clara Saldamando, Armando Castellanos, and Jorge Brito for their respective help in obtaining Nasua and Nasuella during the last 20 years. This work was financed by Project 6839 (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana). Thanks to the Ministerio del Ambiente Ecuatoriano (MAE) in Santo Domingo de Tsáchilas and in Coca, to the Instituto von Humboldt (Colombia), to the Peruvian Ministry of Environment, PRODUCE (Dirección Nacional de Extracción y Procesamiento Pesquero), Consejo Nacional del Ambiente and the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) from Peru, to the Colección Boliviana de Fauna (Dr. Julieta Vargas), and to CITES Bolivia for their role in facilitating the obtainment of the collection permits in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. The first author also thanks the many people of diverse Indian tribes in Ecuador (Kichwa, Huaorani, Shuar and Achuar), in Colombia (Jaguas, Ticunas, Huitoto, Cocama, Tucano, Nonuya, Yuri and Yucuna), in Peru (Bora, Ocaina, Shipigo-Comibo, Capanahua, Angoteros, Orejón, Cocama, Kishuarana and Alamas), Bolivia (Sirionó, Canichana, Cayubaba and Chacobo), and multiple Mayan communities in Central America for their assistance in obtaining samples of Nasua and Nasuella.

    Funding Information:
    Thanks to Dr. Diana Alvarez, Pablo Escobar-Armel, Nicol?s Lichil?n, Luisa Fernanda Castellanos-Mora, Dr. Clara Saldamando, Armando Castellanos, and Jorge Brito for their respective help in obtaining Nasua and Nasuella during the last 20?years. This work was financed by Project 6839 (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana). Thanks to the Ministerio del Ambiente Ecuatoriano (MAE) in Santo Domingo de Ts?chilas and in Coca, to the Instituto von Humboldt (Colombia), to the Peruvian Ministry of Environment, PRODUCE (Direcci?n Nacional de Extracci?n y Procesamiento Pesquero), Consejo Nacional del Ambiente and the Instituto Nacional de Recursos Naturales (INRENA) from Peru, to the Colecci?n Boliviana de Fauna (Dr. Julieta Vargas), and to CITES Bolivia for their role in facilitating the obtainment of the collection permits in Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Bolivia. The first author also thanks the many people of diverse Indian tribes in Ecuador (Kichwa, Huaorani, Shuar and Achuar), in Colombia (Jaguas, Ticunas, Huitoto, Cocama, Tucano, Nonuya, Yuri and Yucuna), in Peru (Bora, Ocaina, Shipigo-Comibo, Capanahua, Angoteros, Orej?n, Cocama, Kishuarana and Alamas), Bolivia (Sirion?, Canichana, Cayubaba and Chacobo), and multiple Mayan communities in Central America for their assistance in obtaining samples of Nasua and Nasuella.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde.

    Keywords

    • Central America
    • Coatis
    • Mitochondrial genes
    • Nasua narica
    • Nasua nasua
    • Nasuella meridiensis
    • Nasuella olivacea
    • Phylogeography
    • Population expansions
    • South America
    • Spatial genetic structure

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