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The validity of the dwarf bharal (Pseudois schaeferi) species status inferred from mitochondial Cyt b gene

ZHOU Cai Quan ①② ZHOU Kai Ya ② HU Jin Chu ① (① Institute of Rare Animals and Plants, China West Normal University, Nanchong 637002, Sichuan, China) (② Institute of Genetics Resources, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, China)  
We reconstructed a molecular phylogeny of blue sheep (bharal) and dwarf blue sheep using complete sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cyt b ) gene. Eighteen individuals of Pseudois collected from different localities in Sichuan Province, China, were sequenced by directly sequencing PCR products and phylogenetic trees were reconstructed from a branch and bound search of maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood method and the neighbor joining method. The results did not support the species status of P. schaeferi. According to our phylogenetic tree, genetic divergences and the geographic distribution, the blue sheep distributed in Sichuan Province were divided into 5 groups. According to the zoogeography, the 5 groups can be divided into 5 geographic populations, i.e. the Motianling population, the West Sichuan population, the North west Sichuan population, the South west Sichuan population and the North Sichuan population.
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