Zoology (Jena) 2007 13;110(1):48-57. Epub 2006 Dec 13.
Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland.
The aim of this study is to provide a better understanding of the genetic relationships within the widespread and highly polymorphic group of African giant shrews (Crocidura olivieri group). We sequenced 769 base pairs (bp) of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and 472 bp of the mitochondrial control region over the entire geographic range from South Africa to Morocco. The analyses reveal four main clades associated with different biomes. The largest clade occurs over a range covering Northwest and Central Africa and includes samples of C. fulvastra, C. olivieri, and C. viaria. The second clade is composed of C. goliath from Gabon, while South African C. flavescens, and C. hirta form two additional clades. On the basis of these results, the validity of some taxa in the C. olivieri group should be re-evaluated.