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1 November 2012 Insights into Korean Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) Based on Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Sequence Variation in East Asia
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The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the most widely distributed terrestrial carnivore in the world, occurring throughout most of North America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa. In South Korea, however, this species has been drastically reduced due to habitat loss and poaching. Consequently, it is classified as an endangered species in Korea. As a first step of a planned red fox restoration project, preserved red fox museum specimens were used to determine the genetic status of red foxes that had previously inhabited South Korea against red foxes from neighboring countries. Total eighty three mtDNA cytochrome b sequences, including 22 newly obtained East Asian red fox sequences and worldwide red fox sequences from NCBI, were clustered into three clades (i.e., I, II, and III) based on haplotype network and neighbor-joining trees. The mean genetic distance between clades was 2.0%. Clade III contained South Korean and other East Asian samples in addition to Eurasian and North Pacific individuals. In clade III, South Korean individuals were separated into two lineages of Eurasian and North Pacific groups, showing unclear phylogeographic structuring and admixture. This suggests that South Korean red fox populations may have been composed of individuals from these two different genetic lineages.

© 2012 Zoological Society of Japan
Jeong-Nam Yu, Sang-Hoon Han, Bang-Hwan Kim, Alexey P. Kryukov, Soonok Kim, Byoung-Yoon Lee, and Myounghai Kwak "Insights into Korean Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) Based on Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Sequence Variation in East Asia," Zoological Science 29(11), 753-760, (1 November 2012).
Received: 18 September 2011; Accepted: 1 June 2012; Published: 1 November 2012

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