Genetic diversity and differentiation of the endemic subterranean golden moles of South Africa

M. G. Filippucci, G. C. Hickman, E. Capanna, E. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Allozymic diversity encoded by 38 to 40 gene loci was studied in 33 individuals, comprising two populations of the hottentot golden mole Amblysomus hottentotus from Natal (South Africa) and one specimen of the Namib golden mole Eremitalpa grantii from Namibia. Both species belong to the endemic African subterranean insectivore family, the Chrysochloridae. Genetic differentiation between Amblysomus and Eremitalpa is high. Twenty-eight loci displayed fixation of alternative alleles between both genera, reflected in a large genetic distance, D = 1.320. The results indicated a relatively low level of heterozygosity, H, as expected by the environmental theory of genetic diversity. We thus reconfirm, now in the endemic African Chrysochloridae, the hypothesis that natural selection of allozymic homozygosity operates in the relatively constant underground environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-466
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Systematics and Ecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements--Thisst udywas supportedb y grants from the Israel DiscountB ank Chair of Evolutionary Biology and the AncelI-TeicherR esearch Foundation for Genetics and Molecular Evolution, establishedb y Florence and Theodore Baumrittero f New York, the Italian Ministry of Education, the University of Natal Research Fund, and the Foundationf or Research Development.


  • Amblysomus
  • Eremitalpa
  • adaptation
  • allozymes
  • subterranean/niche

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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