1 Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yezin Nay Pyi Taw 05282, Myanmar;
2 Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mengla Yunnan 666303, China;
3 Hponkan Razi Wildlife Sanctuary Offices, Putao Kachin 01051, Myanmar;
4 Forest Research Institute, Forest Department Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Yezin Nay Pyi Taw 05282, Myanmar
Abstract：The leaf muntjac (Muntiacus putaoensis) is an endemic deer species found in the east trans-Himalayan region. In recent years, population numbers have decreased due to heavy hunting and habitat loss, and little genetic data exists for this species, thus our knowledge of distribution rangs and population sizes likewise remain limited. We obtained mtDNA genes and the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of M. putaoensis using PCR, followed by direct sequencing. The complete mitogenome sequence was determined as a circular 16 349 bp mitochondrial genome, containing 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes, and one control region, the gene composition and order of which were similar to most other vertebrates so far reported. Most mitochondrial genes, except for ND6 and eight tRNAs, were encoded on the heavy strand. The overall base composition of the heavy strand was 33.1% A, 29.3% T, 24.2% C, and 13.4% G, with a strong AT bias of 62.4%. There were seven regions of gene overlap totaling 95 bp and 11 intergenic spacer regions totaling 74 bp. Phylogenetic analyses (ML and BI) among the Muntiacus genus based on the sequenced of mitogenome and ND4L-ND4 supported M. putaoensis as a member of Muntiacus, most closely related to M. vuquangensis. However, when analyses based on cyt b included two more muntjacs, M. truongsonensis was most closely related to M. putaoensis rather than M. vuquangensis, and together with M. rooseveltorum, likely forming a M. rooseveltorum complex of the species. This study will help in the exploration of the evolutionary history and taxonomic status of the leaf muntjac, as well as its protection as a genetic resource.
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