Diversification of sulawesi macaque monkeys: Decoupled evolution of mitochondrial and autosomal DNA

Ben J. Evans, Jatna Supriatna, Noviar Andayani, Don J. Melnick

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66 Citations (Scopus)


In macaque monkeys, females are philopatric and males are obligate dispersers. This social system is expected to differently affect evolution of genetic elements depending on their mode of inheritance. Because of this, the geographic structure of molecular variation may differ considerably in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and in autosomal DNA (aDNA) in the same individuals, even though these genomes are partially co-inherited. On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, macaque monkeys underwent an explosive diversification as a result of range fragmentation. Today, barriers to dispersal have receded and fertile hybrid individuals can be found at contact zones between parapatric species. In this study, we examine the impact of range fragmentation on Sulawesi macaque mtDNA and aDNA by comparing evolution, phylogeography, and population subdivision of each genome. Our results suggest that mtDNA is paraphyletic in some species, and that mtDNA phylogeography is largely consistent with a pattern of isolation by distance. Autosomal DNA, however, is suggestive of fragmentation, in that interspecific differentiation across most contact zones is significant but intraspecific differentiation between contact zones is not. Furthermore, in mtDNA, most molecular variation is partitioned between populations within species but in aDNA most variation is partitioned within populations. That mtDNA has a different geographic structure than aDNA (and morphology) in these primates is a probable consequence of (1) a high level of ancestral polymorphism in mtDNA, (2) differences between patterns of ancestral dispersal of matrilines and contemporary dispersal of males, and (3) the fact that female philopatry impedes gene flow of macaque mtDNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1931-1946
Number of pages16
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2003


  • Microsatellites
  • Philopatry
  • Phylogeny
  • Population genetics
  • Southeast Asia


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