Genetic diversity, phylogeography and historical demography of the Golden Jackal, Canis aureus Linnaeus, 1758, in Turkey as inferred from mtDNA sequences

Demirtaş S.

Zoology in the Middle East, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09397140.2023.2272411
  • Journal Name: Zoology in the Middle East
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Animal Behavior Abstracts, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: cytochrome b, D-loop, genetic diversity, Pleistocene, Turkish Golden Jackal
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


The Golden Jackal, Canis aureus (L., 1758) is one of the most widespread species of canids, ranging from Central Europe and the Balkans to the Middle East and East Asia; however, relatively little is known about genetic diversity, population structure, and evolutionary history of the Turkish population, which occurs at a key crossroads in the species’ range. The present study assesses the phylogenetic status and demographic history of the Turkish populations relative to those elsewhere in Europe and Asia by analysing two mitochondrial DNA markers (cytochrome b, 1140 bp and control region, 310 bp). It was found that the genetic diversity in Turkey is higher than in European and Caucasian populations, but slightly lower than in Indian populations. The Turkish population has a close historical association with European and adjacent Asian populations. Demographic tests suggest a rapid population growth during the late Pleistocene, consistent with other Asian populations. These findings indicate that the Turkish population may have acted as a significant source from which the species expanded into Europe and the Caucasus region.