A phylogeographic analysis was performed on Japanese endemic wood mice (Apodemus speciosus) using nuclear interphotoreceptor retinol binding protein (IRBP) gene sequences (1,152 bp), together with previously published mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) data. In the IRBP analysis, 40 haplotypes were recovered from 84 individuals by statistical and subcloning methods. Substantial sequence variation was determined from the IRBP data (π=0.0047), and no significant evidence of recombination was detected. From the phylogenetic analysis, the 40 haplotypes fell into two major groups with geographic associations, irrespective of the karyotype groups (2n=46 and 2n=48), yielding a trend of central (Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, and Sado) and peripheral (Izu, Oki, Tsushima, and Satsunan Is.) groupings. This geographic pattern is similar to that observed in the cyt b data, with a different insular grouping of Sado, Hokkaido, Izu, and Satsunan islands, and also to that of morphological features. In both gene data sets, nested clade analyses revealed allopatric fragmentation in the “peripheral island clades” and range expansion in the “central island clades.” A mismatch analysis using cyt b data also suggested expansion of the central islands clade. Thus, the trend of central vs. peripheral structuring may be attributable to past demographic dynamics in the two distinct haplotype clades, such as range expansion of one clade in the central area of the Japanese Islands, leaving the other clade in the periphery.
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