The white-nest swiftlet, Aerodramus fuciphagus, originally lived in large colonies in natural caves, but now it also occurs in man-made buildings. We investigated the patterns of genetic differentiation in two mitochondrial DNA genes (cyt-b and ND2) and eight microsatellite loci among and within colonies of A. fuciphagus from across recently established man-made colonies in Thailand. Ten white-nest swiftlet colonies were sampled along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea in Thailand during 2003–2006. The genetic diversity of mtDNA was very low, and few significant ΦST values were found between pairs of colonies. Analyses of haplotype relationships did not show genetic structure across the sampled distribution. The level of genetic diversity for microsatellite loci was high, but FST values were not significant. However, due to small sample sizes for some colonies that could limit conclusions on genetic differentiation from ΦST and FST, we also analyzed the microsatellite data using STRUCTURE and found that number of subpopulations of white-nest swiftlets in sampled colonies was one. The lack of genetic differentiation among swiftlet house colonies could be a result of high gene flow between colonies and large population sizes. Our results suggest that A. fuciphagus living in recently established man-made colonies in Thailand should be considered members of a single panmictic population. Future work will be necessary to determine whether this panmixia is stable or a temporary result of the recent explosive expansion of the number of colonies, and comparisons to natural colonies may provide an understanding of mechanisms producing the lack of genetic structure in swiftlet house colonies.
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