Genetic characterization and structure of the endemic Colombian silvery brown bare-face tamarin, Saguinus leucopus (Callitrichinae, Cebidae, Primates)

Primates. 2014 Jul;55(3):415-35. doi: 10.1007/s10329-014-0418-2. Epub 2014 May 10.


We analyzed 115 Saguinus leucopus, from four Colombian departments (Antioquia, Bolivar, Caldas and Tolima ), for 701 bp of the mt COII gene and at 10 microsatellite loci to estimate gene diversity levels, possible molecular subspecies and historical demographic changes in this species. This endemic Colombian species showed an elevated gene diversity in this gene, although its geographical distribution is very restrictive and extremely threatened by habitat fragmentation. The mt COII gene did not show any geographical structure in the distribution of the haplotypes within this species, but it did show a noteworthy population expansion throughout the history of this species. A Bayesian analysis showed that the haplotype diversification of this species began around 1.6 million years ago (MYA), whilst a haplotype network gave the beginning of this diversification at around 0.5-0.6 MYA. Forty-seven individuals out of the 115 were analyzed for 10 DNA microsatellites. The genetic diversity was relatively elevated for this kind of marker too, and comparable to that found in other Neotropical monkeys with a wider geographical distribution. Two gene pools were detected with the microsatellites, one in the northern distribution area (Antioquia) and the other in the southern distribution area (Tolima). No tests detected any bottleneck affecting this population; however, two procedures (k test and Kimmel et al. 1998 test) detected significant population expansion for the microsatellite markers, like that seen with the mt COII gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Colombia
  • Electron Transport Complex IV / genetics
  • Endangered Species
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Haplotypes
  • Microsatellite Repeats*
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Saguinus / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Electron Transport Complex IV