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Title: Multiple geographic origins of commensalism and complex dispersal history of black rats
Authors: Ken P. Aplin
Hitoshi Suzuki
Alejandro A. Chinen
R. Terry Chesser
José ten Have
Stephen C. Donnellan
Jeremy Austin
Angela Frost
Jean Paul Gonzalez
Vincent Herbreteau
Francois Catzeflis
Julien Soubrier
Yin Ping Fang
Judith Robins
Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith
Amanda D.S. Bastos
Ibnu Maryanto
Martua H. Sinaga
Christiane Denys
Ronald A. van Den Bussche
Chris Conroy
Kevin Rowe
Alan Cooper
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
Hokkaido University
Smithsonian Institution
Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
University of Adelaide
Mahidol University
Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution UMR 5554
National Chiayi University
University of Auckland
Otago School of Medical Sciences
Universiteit van Pretoria
Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia
Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
University of California, Berkeley
Keywords: Agricultural and Biological Sciences;Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Issue Date: 2-Nov-2011
Citation: PLoS ONE. Vol.6, No.11 (2011)
Abstract: The Black Rat (Rattus rattus) spread out of Asia to become one of the world's worst agricultural and urban pests, and a reservoir or vector of numerous zoonotic diseases, including the devastating plague. Despite the global scale and inestimable cost of their impacts on both human livelihoods and natural ecosystems, little is known of the global genetic diversity of Black Rats, the timing and directions of their historical dispersals, and the risks associated with contemporary movements. We surveyed mitochondrial DNA of Black Rats collected across their global range as a first step towards obtaining an historical genetic perspective on this socioeconomically important group of rodents. We found a strong phylogeographic pattern with well-differentiated lineages of Black Rats native to South Asia, the Himalayan region, southern Indochina, and northern Indochina to East Asia, and a diversification that probably commenced in the early Middle Pleistocene. We also identified two other currently recognised species of Rattus as potential derivatives of a paraphyletic R. rattus. Three of the four phylogenetic lineage units within R. rattus show clear genetic signatures of major population expansion in prehistoric times, and the distribution of particular haplogroups mirrors archaeologically and historically documented patterns of human dispersal and trade. Commensalism clearly arose multiple times in R. rattus and in widely separated geographic regions, and this may account for apparent regionalism in their associated pathogens. Our findings represent an important step towards deeper understanding the complex and influential relationship that has developed between Black Rats and humans, and invite a thorough re-examination of host-pathogen associations among Black Rats. © 2011 Aplin et al.
ISSN: 19326203
Appears in Collections:Scopus 2011-2015

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