Genetic diversity in populations of the viperBothrops moojeni Hoge, 1966 in CentralBrazil using RAPD markers

N.C.L. Dutra, M.P.C. Telles, D.L. Dutra, N.J. Silva Júnior
Published July 8, 2008
Genet. Mol. Res. 7 (3): 603-613 (2008)

About the Authors
N.C.L. Dutra, M.P.C. Telles, D.L. Dutra, N.J. Silva Júnior

Corresponding author
N.C.L. Dutra

Bothrops moojeni is an abundant venomous snake responsible for most of the snakebite cases in the Central region of Brazil and as  a result of the anthropogenic habitat disturbance, such as the increase in  extensive farming, the range of B. moojeni has been greatly fragmented.  Here, we obtained genomic DNA from a total of 75 snakes belonging to  four populations. Genetic variability evaluated for five RAPD primers  was low (He = 0.20) and was not spatially structured. We found evidence  of significant genetic divergence among B. moojeni populations that were  isolated (ΦST values of 0.21 and 0.25), while populations more proximal exhibited less divergence (ΦST values of 0.04 and 0.08). We found  only moderate divergence (ΦST value of 0.12) between two populations  greatly isolated (851.83 km apart) along with great differentiation (0.24)  between two proximal populations (290 km apart). Even though these  populations are close to each other, they occur in an urbanized area that is  almost completely covered by extensive crops, representing an obstrucion to the mobility of this viper. Molecular variance analysis (AMOVA)  showed some degree of subdivision in these populations, with a ΦST value  of 0.16, significant to the level of 1% by 1000 random permutations. We  also performed a Bayesian analysis that confirmed the AMOVA results  and found a value of θB = 0.14 and an ƒ = 0.27, suggesting a high level  of endogamy. This is the first study that characterizes genetic variability  for this important species of the Bothrops genus, and our data are of significant importance in terms of classifying populations in relation to their  conservational value and management strategies. Thus, given the high  levels of population structure found in this case, we recommend sampling as many populations as possible to maximize the genetic variability  to be preserved when aiming for in situ conservation. The same should be  done to perform samplings toward ex situ conservation.

Key words: Bothrops moojeni, Vipers, Genetic variability, RAPD, Conservation genetics; Genetic structure.

Back To Top