The short interspersed nucleotide elements (SINEs) are specific to the taxa and thought to be one of powerful phylogenetic gene markers. Especially, the SINE sequences, which exist uniquely in genome of order Carnivora, are named CAN-SINEs. Among the Eurasian badgers (genus Meles), a member of the family Mustelidae in order Carnivora, the Japanese badger (M. anakuma) was previously reported to have an insertion of CAN-SINE in the final intron of the zinc finger protein gene on Y chromosome (ZFY). In the present study, we examined occurrence of the CAN-SINE of the ZFY final intron in the Eurasian badgers, and three continental and four Japanese haplotypes were identified from a total of 40 male badgers. Among the Eurasian badger CAN-SINEs, a 12-bp deletion specific to the Japanese haplotypes was found, whereas the 12-bp region (non-deletion) in the continental haplotypes consisted of one 6-bp direct repeat and 6-bp microsatellite-like sequences. Moreover, the continental haplotypes were phylogenetically divided into three lineages: eastern Eurasia, Caucasus and western Eurasia. These genetic differentiations supported the classification recently proposing that genus Meles are grouped into the European badger (M. meles), the Southwest Asian badger (M. canescens), the Northwest & Central Asian badger (M. leucurus) and the Japanese badger (M. anakuna). In addition, the number of adenines in the poly A/T rich tails was polymorphic among all lineages of Eurasian badgers, and geographically variable within the Japanese badgers.
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Vol. 36 • No. 1