Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genetic diversity of Vicugna Vicugna mensalis in Bolivia

J. Barreta, V. Iñiguez, R. J. Sarno, B. Gutiérrez-Gil, J. J. Arranz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The vicuna (Vicugna vicugna) is one of two wild South American camelids. Nowadays in Bolivia, there are over 62,869 animals representing 20% of the world’s population breeding in the wild as the only management system. Two subspecies of vicuna are currently accepted, based largely on genetic and size differences: Vicugna vicugna vicugna, distributed in Argentina, Chile and South of Bolivia, and Vicugna vicugna mensalis, disseminated in Peru and North of Bolivia. There are few studies analysing the molecular diversity in Bolivian vicunas and the aim of this work is to better understand the genetic variability of V. v. mensalis distributed in this country. For this purpose, and based on the Vicugna v. mensalis published sequence, we analysed the complete cytochrome-b (Cyt-b) (1140 bp) and partial (D-loop) (511 bp) regions of mitochondrial DNA across 35 animals from four different locations within a protected area in the north of Bolivia (Apolobamba). A total of 604 polymorphic sites were found in the Cyt-b gene yielding nine different haplotypes. In the case of the D-loop region, nineteen polymorphic sites were detected and grouped into three haplotypes different. Haplotype diversity (h) reached 0.877 in the Cyt-b gene and 0.211 inthe D-loop region. Nucleotide diversity (π) ranged from 0.2572, in the Cyt-b, to 0.00249, in the D-loop. These results show the need for monitoring programmes in wild populations recovered by massive expansion of the species and the constant evaluation of genetic variation to support conservation and management programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFibre Production in South American Camelids and Other Fibre Animals
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789086867271
ISBN (Print)9789086861729
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Wageningen Academic Publishers 2011.


  • Camelids
  • Genetic diversity
  • Mitochondrial dna
  • Vicuna


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