[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mustelidae, as the largest and most-diverse family of order Carnivora, comprises eight subfamilies. Phylogenetic relationships among these Mustelidae subfamilies remain argumentative subjects in recent years. One of the main reasons is that the mustelids represent a typical example of rapid evolutionary radiation and recent speciation event. Prior investigation has been concentrated on the application of different mitochondrial (mt) sequence and nuclear protein-coding data, herein we employ 17 nuclear non-coding loci (>15 kb), in conjunction with mt complete genome data (>16 kb), to clarify these enigmatic problems.
The combined nuclear intron and mt genome analyses both robustly support that Taxidiinae diverged first, followed by Melinae. Lutrinae and Mustelinae are grouped together in all analyses with strong supports. The position of Helictidinae, however, is enigmatic because the mt genome analysis places it to the clade uniting Lutrinae and Mustelinae, whereas the nuclear intron analysis favors a novel view supporting a closer relationship of Helictidinae to Martinae. This finding emphasizes a need to add more data and include more taxa to resolve this problem. In addition, the molecular dating provides insights into the time scale of the origin and diversification of the Mustelidae subfamilies. Finally, the phylogenetic performances and limits of nuclear introns and mt genes are discussed in the context of Mustelidae phylogeny.
Our study not only brings new perspectives on the previously obscured phylogenetic relationships among Mustelidae subfamilies, but also provides another example demonstrating the effectiveness of nuclear non-coding loci for reconstructing evolutionary histories in a group that has undergone rapid bursts of speciation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study of evolutionary relationships among organisms is vital in evolutionary biology. To reconstruct a reliable species phylogeny, one of the most important issues is to choose proper molecular markers and take full advantage of phylogenetic information contained in these markers. Intra-individual allele heterozygotes (IIAHs) have been commonly detected in intron phylogenetic studies. How to incorporate IIAHs into phylogenetic framework has been a focus in current studies. In this review, the conception, isolation, and analytic methods of IIAHs in phylogeny were summarized.
No preview · Article · Sep 2009 · Hereditas (Beijing)