loading page

Phylogeny, phylogeography and diversification history of the westernmost Asian cobra (Naja oxiana) in the Trans-Caspian region
  • +2
  • Elmira Kazemi,
  • Masoud Nazarizadeh,
  • Faezeh Fatemizadeh,
  • Ali Khani,
  • Mohammad Kaboli
Elmira Kazemi
Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch
Author Profile
Masoud Nazarizadeh
University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice
Author Profile
Faezeh Fatemizadeh
University of Tehran
Author Profile
Ali Khani
Department of Environment of Iran
Author Profile
Mohammad Kaboli
University of Tehran
Author Profile

Abstract

We conducted a comprehensive analysis of the phylogenetic, phylogeographic, and demographic relationships of Caspian cobra (Naja oxiana; Eichwald, 1831) populations based on a concatenated dataset of two mtDNA genes (cyt b and ND4) across the species’ range in Iran, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan, along with other members of Asian cobras (i.e. subgenus Naja Laurenti, 1768). Our results provided strong support that N. oxiana is monophyletic and its divergence from its sister taxon, N. kaouthia, during early Pleistocene. Our results also highlight the existence of only one major evolutionary lineage in the Trans-Caspian region, suggesting a rapid expansion of the Caspian cobra from eastern to western Asia, coupled with a rapid range expansion from east of Iran to the northeast. However, the subdivision of eastern and northeastern populations in Iran was not supported; hence we propose only one evolutionary significant unit across the Iranian range of N. oxiana to be considered for conservation efforts.

Peer review status:IN REVISION

16 Aug 2020Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
18 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
18 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
25 Aug 2020Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Sep 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Sep 2020Editorial Decision: Revise Minor