2024 : 6 : 16
Morteza Naderi

Morteza Naderi

Academic rank: Associate Professor
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7578-4159
Education: PhD.
Faculty: Agriculture and Environment
Address: Arak University


Mitochondrial evidence uncovers a refugium for the fat dormouse (Glis glis Linnaeus, 1766) in Hyrcanian forests of northern Iran
Cytochrome b Phylogeography Quaternary history Hyrcanian refugium
Researchers Morteza Naderi ، Mohammad Kaboli ، Toni Karen ، Mahmoud Karami ، Sara Zupan ، hamid reza rezaei ، Boris Krystufek


Fat dormouse is a squirrel-like rodent which is closely tied to deciduous forest ecosystem in southwestern Eurasia. As such it is a valuable indicator of forest survival in refugia during glacial-interglacial periods. Previous phylogeographic analyses uncovered divergent fat dormouse lineages in southern refugia in Italy and the Balkans, but retrieved a surprisingly low overall genetic diversity across the majority of the species’ range. We explored 812 bp long fragment of a cytochrome b (cyt b) gene in ten fat dormice from refugial Hyrcanian forests in northern Iran. We identified 10 new cyt b haplotypes, which generated a total dataset of 28 fat dormouse haplotypes. The phylogenetic reconstruction clustered the new haplotypes into the Iranian lineage which hold a sister position against all other fat dormouse haplotypes from Europe and Asia Minor. The divergence between these lineages suggests a fragmentation event of an ancestral population at 5.76 mya (95% HPD = 3.21–8.92). This early evolutionary divergence was possibly triggered in the Middle East by dramatically divergent environmental conditions at the Messinian Salinity Crisis. The divergence clearly exceeds the intraspecific divergence, and is well within the range between congeneric rodent species. We suggest a long-term persistence of the Iranian lineage in the Hyrcanian refugium which is consitent with a high number of endemics along the southern Caspian coastal areas.