Uniquely among hominoids, gibbons exist as multiple geographically contiguous taxa exhibiting distinctive behavioral, morphological, and karyotypic characteristics. However, our understanding of the evolutionary relationships of the various gibbons, especially among Hylobates species, is still limited because previous studies used limited taxon sampling or short mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences. Here we use mtDNA genome sequences to reconstruct gibbon phylogenetic relationships and reveal the pattern and timing of divergence events in gibbon evolutionary history.
We sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of 51 individuals representing 11 species belonging to three genera (Hylobates, Nomascus and Symphalangus) using the high-throughput 454 sequencing system with the parallel tagged sequencing approach. Three phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, Bayesian analysis and neighbor-joining) depicted the gibbon phylogenetic relationships congruently and with strong support values. Most notably, we recover a well-supported phylogeny of the Hylobates gibbons. The estimation of divergence times using Bayesian analysis with relaxed clock model suggests a much more rapid speciation process in Hylobates than in Nomascus.
Use of more than 15 kb sequences of the mitochondrial genome provided more informative and robust data than previous studies of short mitochondrial segments (e.g., control region or cytochrome b) as shown by the reliable reconstruction of divergence patterns among Hylobates gibbons. Moreover, molecular dating of the mitogenomic divergence times implied that biogeographic change during the last five million years may be a factor promoting the speciation of Sundaland animals, including Hylobates species.
Gibbons or small apes inhabit tropical and subtropical rain forests in Southeast Asia and adjacent regions, and are, next to great apes, our closest living relatives. With up to 16 species, gibbons form the most diverse group of living hominoids, but the number of taxa, their phylogenetic relationships and their phylogeography is controversial. To further the discussion of these issues we analyzed the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from 85 individuals representing all gibbon species, including most subspecies.
Based on phylogenetic tree reconstructions, several monophyletic clades were detected, corresponding to genera, species and subspecies. A significantly supported branching pattern was obtained for members of the genus Nomascus but not for the genus Hylobates. The phylogenetic relationships among the four genera were also not well resolved. Nevertheless, the new data permitted the estimation of divergence ages for all taxa for the first time and showed that most lineages emerged during four short time periods. In the first, between ~6.7 and ~8.3 mya, the four gibbon genera diverged from each other. In the second (~3.0 - ~3.9 mya) and in the third period (~1.3 - ~1.8 mya), Hylobates and Hoolock differentiated. Finally, between ~0.5 and ~1.1 mya, Hylobates lar diverged into subspecies. In contrast, differentiation of Nomascus into species and subspecies was a continuous and prolonged process lasting from ~4.2 until ~0.4 mya.
Although relationships among gibbon taxa on various levels remain unresolved, the present study provides a more complete view of the evolutionary and biogeographic history of the hylobatid family, and a more solid genetic basis for the taxonomic classification of the surviving taxa. We also show that mtDNA constitutes a useful marker for the accurate identification of individual gibbons, a tool which is urgently required to locate hunting hotspots and select individuals for captive breeding programs. Further studies including nuclear sequence data are necessary to completely understand the phylogeny and phylogeography of gibbons.
Many molecular phylogenetic analyses rely on DNA sequence data obtained from single or multiple loci, particularly mitochondrial DNA loci. However, phylogenies for taxa that have undergone recent, rapid radiation events often remain unresolved. Alternative methodologies for discerning evolutionary relationships under these conditions are desirable. The dolphin subfamily Delphininae is a group that has likely resulted from a recent and rapid radiation. Despite several efforts, the evolutionary relationships among the species in the subfamily remain unclear.
Here, we compare a phylogeny estimated using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region sequences to a multi-locus phylogeny inferred from 418 polymorphic genomic markers obtained from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. The two sets of phylogenies are largely incongruent, primarily because the mtDNA tree provides very poor resolving power; very few species' nodes in the tree are supported by bootstrap resampling. The AFLP phylogeny is considerably better resolved and more congruent with relationships inferred from morphological data. Both phylogenies support paraphyly for the genera Stenella and Tursiops. The AFLP data indicate a close relationship between the two spotted dolphin species and recent ancestry between Stenella clymene and S. longirostris. The placement of the Lagenodelphis hosei lineage is ambiguous: phenetic analysis of the AFLP data is consistent with morphological expectations but the phylogenetic analysis is not.
For closely related, recently diverged taxa, a multi-locus genome-wide survey is likely the most comprehensive approach currently available for phylogenetic inference.
We sequenced reduced representation libraries by means of Illumina technology to generate over 1.5 Mb of orthologous sequence from a representative of each of the four extant gibbon genera (Nomascus, Hylobates, Symphalangus, and Hoolock). We used these data to assess the evolutionary relationships between the genera by evaluating the likelihoods of all possible bifurcating trees involving the four taxa. Our analyses provide weak support for a tree with Nomascus and Hylobates as sister taxa and with Hoolock and Symphalangus as sister taxa, though bootstrap resampling suggests that other phylogenetic scenarios are also possible. This uncertainty is due to short internal branch lengths and extensive incomplete lineage sorting across taxa. The true phylogenetic relationships among gibbon genera will likely require a more extensive whole-genome sequence analysis.
According to recent taxonomic reclassification, the primate family Hylobatidae contains four genera (Hoolock, Nomascus, Symphalangus, and Hylobates) and between 14-18 species, making it by far the most species-rich group of extant hominoids. Known as the “small apes”, these small arboreal primates are distributed throughout Southeast, South and East Asia. Considerable uncertainty surrounds the phylogeny of extant hylobatids, particularly the relationships among the genera and the species within the Hylobates genus. In this paper we use parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian methods to analyze a dataset containing nearly 14 kilobase pairs, which includes newly collected sequences from X-linked, Y-linked, and mitochondrial loci together with data from previous mitochondrial studies. Parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian analyses largely failed to find a significant difference among phylogenies with any of the four genera as the most basal taxon. All analyses, however, support a tree with Hylobates and Symphalangus as most closely related genera. One strongly supported phylogenetic result within the Hylobates genus is that H. pileatus is the most basal taxon. Multiple analyses failed to find significant support for any singlular genus-level phylogeny. While it is natural to suspect that there might not be sufficient data for phylogenetic resolution (whenever that situation occurs), an alternative hypothesis relating to the nature of gibbon speciation exists. This lack of resolution may be the result of a rapid radiation or a sudden vicariance event of the hylobatid genera, and it is likely that a similarly rapid radiation occurred within the Hylobates genus. Additional molecular and paleontological evidence are necessary to better test among these, and other, hypotheses of hylobatid evolution.
gibbons; siamangs; Hylobatidae; evolution; phylogenetics; radiation
Gibbons or small apes are, next to great apes, our closest living relatives, and form the most diverse group of contemporary hominoids. A characteristic trait of gibbons is their species-specific song structure, which, however, exhibits a certain amount of inter- and intra-individual variation. Although differences in gibbon song structure are routinely applied as taxonomic tool to identify subspecies and species, it remains unclear to which degree acoustic and phylogenetic differences are correlated. To trace this issue, we comparatively analyse song recordings and mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequence data from 22 gibbon populations representing six of the seven crested gibbon species (genus Nomascus). In addition, we address whether song similarity and geographic distribution can support a recent hypothesis about the biogeographic history of crested gibbons.
The acoustic analysis of 92 gibbon duets confirms the hypothesised concordance between song structure and phylogeny. Based on features of male and female songs, we can not only distinguish between N. nasutus, N. concolor and the four southern species (N. leucogenys, N. siki, N. annamensis, N. gabriellae), but also between the latter by applying more detailed analysis. In addition to the significant correlation between song structure and genetic similarity, we find a similar high correlation between song similarity and geographic distance.
The results show that the structure of crested gibbon songs is not only a reliable tool to verify phylogenetic relatedness, but also to unravel geographic origins. As vocal production in other nonhuman primate species appears to be evolutionarily based, it is likely that loud calls produced by other species can serve as characters to elucidate phylogenetic relationships.
The phylogeny of the flycatcher genus Anairetes was previously inferred using short fragments of mitochondrial DNA and parsimony and distance-based methods. The resulting topology spurred taxonomic revision and influenced understanding of Andean biogeography. More than a decade later, we revisit the phylogeny of Anairetes tit-tyrants using more mtDNA characters, seven unlinked loci (3 mitochondrial genes, 6 nuclear loci), more closely related outgroup taxa, partitioned Bayesian analyses, and two coalescent species-tree approaches (Bayesian estimation of species trees, BEST; Bayesian evolutionary analysis by sampling trees, *BEAST). Of these improvements in data and analyses, the fourfold increase in mtDNA characters was both necessary and sufficient to incur a major shift in the topology and near-complete resolution. The species-tree analyses, while theoretically preferable to concatenation or single gene approaches, yielded topologies that were compatible with mtDNA but with weaker statistical resolution at nodes. The previous results that had led to taxonomic and biogeographic reappraisal were refuted, and the current results support the resurrection of the genus Uromyias as the sister clade to Anairetes. The sister relationship between these two genera corresponds to an ecological dichotomy between a depauperate humid cloudforest clade and a diverse dry-tolerant clade that has diversified along the latitudinal axis of the Andes. The species-tree results and the concatenation results each reaffirm the primacy of mtDNA to provide phylogenetic signal for avian phylogenies at the species and subspecies level. This is due in part to the abundance of informative characters in mtDNA, and in part to its lower effective population size that causes it to more faithfully track the species tree.
Effective population size; Phylogenetic methods; Emergent signal; Species-tree methods; Anairetes, Haploid specification
The evolutionary history of α-satellite DNA, the major component of primate centromeres, is hardly defined because of the difficulty in its sequence assembly and its rapid evolution when compared with most genomic sequences. By using several approaches, we have cloned, sequenced, and characterized α-satellite sequences from two species representing critical nodes in the primate phylogeny: the white-cheeked gibbon, a lesser ape, and marmoset, a New World monkey. Sequence analyses demonstrate that white-cheeked gibbon and marmoset α-satellite sequences are formed by units of ∼171 and ∼342 bp, respectively, and they both lack the high-order structure found in humans and great apes. Fluorescent in situ hybridization characterization shows a broad dispersal of α-satellite in the white-cheeked gibbon genome including centromeric, telomeric, and chromosomal interstitial localizations. On the other hand, centromeres in marmoset appear organized in highly divergent dimers roughly of 342 bp that show a similarity between monomers much lower than previously reported dimers, thus representing an ancient dimeric structure.
All these data shed light on the evolution of the centromeric sequences in Primates. Our results suggest radical differences in the structure, organization, and evolution of α-satellite DNA among different primate species, supporting the notion that 1) all the centromeric sequence in Primates evolved by genomic amplification, unequal crossover, and sequence homogenization using a 171 bp monomer as the basic seeding unit and 2) centromeric function is linked to relatively short repeated elements, more than higher-order structure.
Moreover, our data indicate that complex higher-order repeat structures are a peculiarity of the hominid lineage, showing the more complex organization in humans.
evolution; primates; centromere
Gibbons are small, arboreal, highly endangered apes that are understudied compared with other hominoids. At present, there are four recognized genera and approximately 17 species, all likely to have diverged from each other within the last 5–6 My. Although the gibbon phylogeny has been investigated using various approaches (i.e., vocalization, morphology, mitochondrial DNA, karyotype, etc.), the precise taxonomic relationships are still highly debated. Here, we present the first survey of nuclear sequence variation within and between gibbon species with the goal of estimating basic population genetic parameters. We gathered ∼60 kb of sequence data from a panel of 19 gibbons representing nine species and all four genera. We observe high levels of nucleotide diversity within species, indicative of large historical population sizes. In addition, we find low levels of genetic differentiation between species within a genus comparable to what has been estimated for human populations. This is likely due to ongoing or episodic gene flow between species, and we estimate a migration rate between Nomascus leucogenys and N. gabriellae of roughly one migrant every two generations. Together, our findings suggest that gibbons have had a complex demographic history involving hybridization or mixing between diverged populations.
population history; chromosomal rearrangements; genetic diversity; gibbon; population genetics
The hippolytid genus Lysmata is characterized by simultaneous hermaphroditism, a very rare sexual system among Decapoda. Specialized cleaning behavior is reported in a few pair-living species; these life history traits vary within the genus. Unfortunately, the systematics of Lysmata and the Hippolytidae itself are in contention, making it difficult to examine these taxa for trends in life history traits. A phylogeny of Lysmata and related taxa is needed, to clarify their evolutionary relationships and the origin of their unique sexual pattern. In this study, we present a molecular phylogenetic analysis among species of Lysmata, related genera, and several putative hippolytids. The analysis is based upon DNA sequences of two genes, 16S mtDNA and nuclear 28S rRNA. Phylogenetic trees were estimated using Bayesian Inference, Maximum Likelihood, and Maximum Parsimony.
Phylogenetic analysis of 29 species of Lysmata, eight genera of Hippolytidae and two genera of Barbouriidae based on a single (16S, 28S) and combined gene approach (16S+28S) indicates that three groups of Lysmata differentiate according to antennular morphology: (1) Lysmata, having a multi-segmented accessory branch, (2) Hippolysmata (prior to Chace 1972), with a one-segmented accessory branch, and (3) a third group of Lysmata outliers, with one-segmented unguiform accessory branch, and close affinity to the genera Exhippolysmata and Lysmatella. The monophyly of the clade bearing a multi-segmented accessory branch is robust. Within the short accessory branch clade, species with specialized cleaning behaviors form a monophyletic clade, however, the integrity of the clade was sensitive to alignment criteria. Other hippolytid and barbouriid genera used in the analysis are basal to these three groups, including one displaying simultaneous hermaphroditism (Parhippolyte). The two barbouriid species occur in a separate clade, but among hippolytid taxa.
The data support the historical morphological division of Lysmata into clades based on accessory branch morphology. The position of the "cleaner" shrimps, indicates that specialized cleaning behavior is a derived trait. The topologies of the cladograms support the monophyly of the barbouriids, but do not support their elevation to familial status. Taxa ancestral to the genus Lysmata display simultaneous hermaphroditism, suggesting that this life history trait evolved outside the genus Lysmata.
Phylogenetic studies of wild Canis species have relied heavily on the mitochondrial DNA control region (mtDNA CR) to infer species relationships and evolutionary lineages. Previous analyses of the CR provided evidence for a North American evolved eastern wolf (C. lycaon), that is more closely related to red wolves (C. rufus) and coyotes (C. latrans) than grey wolves (C. lupus). Eastern wolf origins, however, continue to be questioned. Therefore, we analyzed mtDNA from 89 wolves and coyotes across North America and Eurasia at 347 base pairs (bp) of the CR and 1067 bp that included the ATPase6 and ATPase8 genes. Phylogenies and divergence estimates were used to clarify the evolutionary history of eastern wolves, and regional comparisons of nonsynonomous to synonomous substitutions (dN/dS) at the ATPase6 and ATPase8 genes were used to elucidate the potential role of selection in shaping mtDNA geographic distribution.
We found high concordance across analyses between the mtDNA regions studied. Both had a high percentage of variable sites (CR = 14.6%; ATP = 9.7%) and both phylogenies clustered eastern wolf haplotypes monophyletically within a North American evolved lineage apart from coyotes. Divergence estimates suggest the putative red wolf sequence is more closely related to coyotes (DxyCR = 0.01982 ± 0.00494 SD; DxyATP = 0.00332 ± 0.00097 SD) than the eastern wolf sequences (DxyCR = 0.03047 ± 0.00664 SD; DxyATP = 0.00931 ± 0.00205 SD). Neutrality tests on both genes were indicative of the population expansion of coyotes across eastern North America, and dN/dS ratios suggest a possible role for purifying selection in the evolution of North American lineages. dN/dS ratios were higher in European evolved lineages from northern climates compared to North American evolved lineages from temperate regions, but these differences were not statistically significant.
These results demonstrate high concordance between coding and non-coding regions of mtDNA, and provide further evidence that the eastern wolf possessed distinct mtDNA lineages prior to recent coyote introgression. Purifying selection may have influenced North American evolved Canis lineages, but detection of adaptive selection in response to climate is limited by the power of current statistical tests. Increased sampling and development of alternative analytical tools will be necessary to disentangle demographic history from processes of natural selection.
Studies of speciation mode based on phylogenies usually test the predicted effect on diversification patterns or on geographical distribution of closely related species. Here we outline an approach to infer the prevalent speciation mode in Iberian Hymenoplia chafers through the comparison of the evolutionary rates of morphological character systems likely to be related to sexual or ecological selection. Assuming that mitochondrial evolution is neutral and not related to measured phenotypic differences among the species, we contrast hypothetic outcomes of three speciation modes: 1) geographic isolation with subsequent random morphological divergence, resulting in overall change proportional to the mtDNA rate; 2) sexual selection on size and shape of the male intromittent organs, resulting in an evolutionary rate decoupled to that of the mtDNA; and 3) ecological segregation, reflected in character systems presumably related to ecological or biological adaptations, with rates decoupled from that of the mtDNA.
The evolutionary rate of qualitative external body characters was significantly correlated to that of the mtDNA both for the overall root-to-tip patristic distances and the individual inter-node branches, as measured with standard statistics and the randomization of a global comparison metric (the z-score). The rate of the body morphospace was significantly correlated to that of the mtDNA only for the individual branches, but not for the patristic distances, while that of the paramere outline was significantly correlated with mtDNA rates only for the patristic distances but not for the individual branches.
Structural morphological characters, often used for species recognition, have evolved at a rate proportional to that of the mtDNA, with no evidence of directional or stabilising selection according to our measures. The change in body morphospace seems to have evolved randomly at short term, but the overall change is different from that expected under a pure random drift or randomly fluctuating selection, reflecting either directional or stabilising selection or developmental constraints. Short term changes in paramere shape possibly reflect sexual selection, but their overall amount of change was unconstrained, possibly reflecting their lack of functionality. Our approach may be useful to provide indirect insights into the prevalence of different speciation modes in entire lineages when direct evidence is lacking.
We inferred a phylogeny for the walking-stick genus Timema (Insecta: Phasmatoptera) using mitochondrial DNA sequence, and we used the phylogeny to infer temporal patterns of speciation and the evolutionary history of parthenogenesis. Maximum parsimony, neighbour-joining and maximum-likelihood analyses of 660 base pairs (bp) of cytochrome oxidase I (COI) yielded phylogenies that were well resolved and topologically identical or very similar. Application of an insect molecular clock for COI suggests that the genus originated in southern California, northern Mexico or Arizona about 20 million years ago and underwent a burst of speciation 1.5 to 3 million years ago during the uplifts of the Sierra Nevada, Coast, and Transverse Ranges. The phylogeny indicates that the three parthenogenetic lineages of Timema have arisen independently and are each closely related to morphologically indistinguishable or similar sexual species. Each of the three lineages exhibits an allopatric or parapatric, and more northerly, distribution with regard to their closest sexual relative. COI divergence levels between each of the three parthenogens and their closest sexual relative suggest ancient origins of parthenogenesis, 1.5 to 3 million years ago, that may coincide with the extensive glaciation that formed the North American ice sheets.
Inferring phylogenetic relationships between closely related taxa can be hindered by three factors: (1) the lack of informative molecular variation at short evolutionary timescale; (2) the lack of established markers in poorly studied taxa; and (3) the potential phylogenetic conflicts among different genomic regions due to incomplete lineage sorting or introgression. In this context, Restriction site Associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq) seems promising as this technique can generate sequence data from numerous DNA fragments scattered throughout the genome, from a large number of samples, and without preliminary knowledge on the taxa under study. However, divergence beyond the within-species level will necessarily reduce the number of conserved and non-duplicated restriction sites, and therefore the number of loci usable for phylogenetic inference. Here, we assess the suitability of RAD-seq for phylogeny using a simulated experiment on the 12 Drosophila genomes, with divergence times ranging from 5 to 63 million years. These simulations show that RAD-seq allows the recovery of the known Drosophila phylogeny with strong statistical support, even for relatively ancient nodes. Notably, this conclusion is robust to the potentially confounding effects of sequencing errors, heterozygosity, and low coverage. We further show that clustering RAD-seq data using the BLASTN and SiLiX programs significantly improves the recovery of orthologous RAD loci compared with previously proposed approaches, especially for distantly related species. This study therefore validates the view that RAD sequencing is a powerful tool for phylogenetic inference.
Bioinfomatics/phyloinfomatics; molecular evolution; phylogenetic theory and methods; phylogeography
Attempts to explain abducens vulnerability have centered around the petroclival segment of its pathway in the skull base, in particular, its relations to the Dorello's canal and the petrosphenoidal ligament of Grüber. This study aims to contribute to the definition of the Dorello's canal and to the understanding of abducens vulnerability from an evolutionary perspective. The petroclival region and the Dorello's canal in particular were examined in a sample of 86 primate skulls. The sample contains 20 Pan troglodytes (common chimpanzee), 35 Gorilla gorilla, 20 Pongo pygmaeus (orangoutan), and 11 Hylobates moloch (gibbon) skulls. Distance between the petrous apex and tip of the posterior clinoid process was measured using a 10-mm scale that was inserted into the endocranium. Complete absence of the Grüber ligament and an uninterrupted osseous circumference of the Dorello's canal (foramen) was demonstrated in all nonhuman primate species. Whatever the reason for the morphological difference between the human and ape Dorello's canal, it is without a doubt suggestive of the source of vulnerability of the abducens nerve, as the ligament of Grüber, unique to the human configuration, renders the contents of the Dorello's canal susceptible to compression against the cranial base.
Abducens nerve; petrosphenoidal ligament; petrosphenoidal canal; skull base
Compared with the great apes, the small-bodied hylobatids were treated historically as a relatively uniform group with 2 genera, Hylobates and the larger-bodied Symphalangus. Four genera are now recognized, each with a different chromosome number: Hoolock (hoolock) (38), Hylobates (44), Nomascus (crested gibbon) (52), and Symphalangus (siamang) (50). Previous morphological studies based on relative bone lengths, e.g., intermembral indices; molar tooth sizes; and body masses did not distinguish the 4 genera from each other. We applied quantitative anatomical methods to test the hypothesis that each genus can be differentiated from the others using the relative distribution of body mass to the forelimbs and hind limbs. Based on dissections of 13 hylobatids from captive facilities, our findings demonstrate that each of the 4 genera has a distinct pattern of body mass distribution. For example, the adult Hoolock has limb proportions of nearly equal mass, a pattern that differentiates it from species in the genus Hylobates, e.g., H. lar (lar gibbon), H. moloch (Javan gibbon), H. pileatus (pileated gibbon), Nomascus, and Symphalangus. Hylobates is distinct in having heavy hind limbs. Although Symphalangus has been treated as a scaled up version of Hylobates, its forelimb exceeds its hind limb mass, an unusual primate pattern otherwise found only in orangutans. This research provides new information on whole body anatomy and adds to the genetic, ecological, and behavioral evidence for clarifying the taxonomy of the hylobatids. The research also underscores the important contribution of studies on rare species in captivity.
Anatomy; Body proportions; Hylobates; Hylobatids; Limb mass; Symphalangus; Gibbon; Siamang; Taxonomy
Previous studies have examined germ-line mutations to infer the processes that generate and maintain variability in microsatellite loci. Few studies, however, have examined patterns to infer processes that act on microsatellite loci over evolutionary time. Here, we examine changes in 8 dinucleotide loci across the adaptive radiation of Hawaiian honeycreepers. The loci were found to be highly variable across the radiation, and we did not detect ascertainment bias with respect to allelic diversity or allele size ranges. In examining patterns at the sequence level, we found that changes in flanking regions, repeat motifs, or repeat interruptions were often shared between closely related species and may be phylogenetically informative. Genetic distance measures based on microsatellites were strongly correlated with those based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences as well as with divergence time up to 3 My. Phylogenetic inferences based on microsatellite genetic distances consistently recovered 2 of the 4 honeycreeper clades observed in a tree based on mtDNA sequences but differed from the mtDNA tree in the relationships among clades. Our results confirm that microsatellite loci may be conserved over evolutionary time, making them useful in population-level studies of species that diverged from the species in which they were characterized as long as 5 Ma. Despite this, we found that their use in phylogenetic inference was limited to closely related honeycreeper species.
ascertainment bias; dinucleotide repeats; genetic distance measures; honeycreepers; microsatellites; phylogenetic inference
The chamois, distributed over most of the medium to high altitude mountain ranges of southern Eurasia, provides an excellent model for exploring the effects of historical and evolutionary events on diversification. Populations have been grouped into two species, Rupicapra pyrenaica from southwestern Europe and R. rupicapra from eastern Europe. The study of matrilineal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and biparentally inherited microsatellites showed that the two species are paraphyletic and indicated alternate events of population contraction and dispersal-hybridization in the diversification of chamois. Here we investigate the pattern of variation of the Y-chromosome to obtain information on the patrilineal phylogenetic position of the genus Rupicapra and on the male-specific dispersal of chamois across Europe.
We analyzed the Y-chromosome of 87 males covering the distribution range of the Rupicapra genus. We sequenced a fragment of the SRY gene promoter and characterized the male specific microsatellites UMN2303 and SRYM18. The SRY promoter sequences of two samples of Barbary sheep (Ammotragus lervia) were also determined and compared with the sequences of Bovidae available in the GenBank. Phylogenetic analysis of the alignment showed the clustering of Rupicapra with Capra and the Ammotragus sequence obtained in this study, different from the previously reported sequence of Ammotragus which groups with Ovis. Within Rupicapra, the combined data define 10 Y-chromosome haplotypes forming two haplogroups, which concur with taxonomic classification, instead of the three clades formed for mtDNA and nuclear microsatellites. The variation shows a west-to-east geographical cline of ancestral to derived alleles.
The phylogeny of the SRY-promoter shows an association between Rupicapra and Capra. The position of Ammotragus needs a reinvestigation. The study of ancestral and derived characters in the Y-chromosome suggests that, contrary to the presumed Asian origin, the paternal lineage of chamois originated in the Mediterranean, most probably in the Iberian Peninsula, and dispersed eastwards through serial funding events during the glacial-interglacial cycles of the Quaternary. The diversity of Y-chromosomes in chamois is very low. The differences in patterns of variation among Y-chromosome, mtDNA and biparental microsatellites reflect the evolutionary characteristics of the different markers as well as the effects of sex-biased dispersal and species phylogeography.
Infectious retroviruses have been isolated from gibbon apes and a woolly monkey. Previous studies have shown that these isolates share some antigenic determinants and that they exhibit partial nucleic acid homology. To further define the relationships in this group of viruses, we compared the RNAs of the viruses of the woolly monkey-gibbon ape class by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the large RNase T1-resistant oligonucleotides. The degree of sequence identity between the RNAs was determined by the similarity of the fingerprint patterns and in some cases by partial sequence analysis of individual oligonucleotides. This technique permitted us to determine the degree of sequence identity in related RNA species. These studies showed that as much as 80% of the genomes of gibbon ape leukosis virus-Halls' Island and gibbon ape leukosis virus-brain could be identical. The other viruses, simian sarcoma-associated virus, gibbon ape leukosis virus-Thailand, and gibbon ape leukosis virus-San Francisco, showed an extensive but somewhat lower degree of sequence identity (between 40 to 60% of the genomes.
Hybridization has played an important role in the evolutionary history of Canis species in eastern North America. Genetic evidence of coyote–dog hybridization based on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is lacking compared to that based on autosomal markers. This discordance suggests dog introgression into coyotes has potentially been male biased, but this hypothesis has not been formally tested. Therefore, we investigated biparentally, maternally, and paternally inherited genetic markers in a sample of coyotes and dogs from southeastern Ontario to assess potential asymmetric dog introgression into coyotes. Analysis of autosomal microsatellite genotypes revealed minimal historical and contemporary admixture between coyotes and dogs. We observed only mutually exclusive mtDNA haplotypes in coyotes and dogs, but we observed Y-chromosome haplotypes (Y-haplotypes) in both historical and contemporary coyotes that were also common in dogs. Species-specific Zfy intron sequences of Y-haplotypes shared between coyotes and dogs confirmed their homology and indicated a putative origin from dogs. We compared Y-haplotypes observed in coyotes, wolves, and dogs profiled in multiple studies, and observed that the Y-haplotypes shared between coyotes and dogs were either absent or rare in North American wolves, present in eastern coyotes, but absent in western coyotes. We suggest the eastern coyote has experienced asymmetric genetic introgression from dogs, resulting from predominantly historical hybridization with male dogs and subsequent backcrossing of hybrid offspring with coyotes. We discuss the temporal and spatial dynamics of coyote–dog hybridization and the conditions that may have facilitated the introgression of dog Y-chromosomes into coyotes. Our findings clarify the evolutionary history of the eastern coyote.
Coyote; dog; haplotype; hybridization; introgression; wolf
Hexanchiformes is regarded as a monophyletic taxon, but the morphological and genetic relationships between the five extant species within the order are still uncertain. In this study, we determined the whole mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of seven sharks including representatives of the five Hexanchiformes, one squaliform, and one carcharhiniform and inferred the phylogenetic relationships among those species and 12 other Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) species for which the complete mitogenome is available. The monophyly of Hexanchiformes and its close relation with all other Squaliformes sharks were strongly supported by likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of 13,749 aligned nucleotides of 13 protein coding genes and two rRNA genes that were derived from the whole mDNA sequences of the 19 species. The phylogeny suggested that Hexanchiformes is in the superorder Squalomorphi, Chlamydoselachus anguineus (frilled shark) is the sister species to all other Hexanchiformes, and the relations within Hexanchiformes are well resolved as Chlamydoselachus, (Notorynchus, (Heptranchias, (Hexanchus griseus, H. nakamurai))). Based on our phylogeny, we discussed evolutionary scenarios of the jaw suspension mechanism and gill slit numbers that are significant features in the sharks.
The Nangunhe Nature Reserve in Southwest Yunnan (PRC) has long been presumed to be the last stronghold of lar (or white-handed) gibbons (Hylobates lar) in China and the likely last place of occurrence of Hylobates lar yunnanensis. We conducted a comprehensive survey to assess the status of lar gibbons at Nangunhe. We found no visual or auditory evidence of them still residing at the reserve and therefore tentatively conclude that lar gibbons have become extinct in China. It appears that large-scale destruction of primary forests in the 1960s and 1970s brought about an initial decline in their numbers, and subsequent uncontrolled hunting has resulted in their extirpation. The situation for the six Chinese ape taxa is nothing less than disastrous, with 1 taxon assumed to have become extinct during the last few years, 1 taxon not having been confirmed since the 1980s, and 2 species at the very brink of extinction with only tens of individuals remaining in China.
ape; China; extinction; gibbon; Hylobates lar; Yunnan Province
The classical perspective that interspecific hybridization in animals is rare has been changing due to a growing list of empirical examples showing the occurrence of gene flow between closely related species. Using sequence data from cyt b mitochondrial gene and three intron nuclear genes (RPL9, c-myc, and RPL3) we investigated patterns of nucleotide polymorphism and divergence between two closely related toad species R. marina and R. schneideri. By comparing levels of differentiation at nuclear and mtDNA levels we were able to describe patterns of introgression and infer the history of hybridization between these species.
All nuclear loci are essentially concordant in revealing two well differentiated groups of haplotypes, corresponding to the morphologically-defined species R. marina and R. schneideri. Mitochondrial DNA analysis also revealed two well-differentiated groups of haplotypes but, in stark contrast with the nuclear genealogies, all R. schneideri sequences are clustered with sequences of R. marina from the right Amazon bank (RAB), while R. marina sequences from the left Amazon bank (LAB) are monophyletic. An Isolation-with-Migration (IM) analysis using nuclear data showed that R. marina and R. schneideri diverged at ≈ 1.69 Myr (early Pleistocene), while R. marina populations from LAB and RAB diverged at ≈ 0.33 Myr (middle Pleistocene). This time of divergence is not consistent with the split between LAB and RAB populations obtained with mtDNA data (≈ 1.59 Myr), which is notably similar to the estimate obtained with nuclear genes between R. marina and R. schneideri. Coalescent simulations of mtDNA phylogeny under the speciation history inferred from nuclear genes rejected the hypothesis of incomplete lineage sorting to explain the conflicting signal between mtDNA and nuclear-based phylogenies.
The cytonuclear discordance seems to reflect the occurrence of interspecific hybridization between these two closely related toad species. Overall, our results suggest a phenomenon of extensive mtDNA unidirectional introgression from the previously occurring R. schneideri into the invading R. marina. We hypothesize that climatic-induced range shifts during the Pleistocene/Holocene may have played an important role in the observed patterns of introgression.
The mitochondrial genome encodes 13 essential subunits of the respiratory chain and has remarkable genetics based on uniparental inheritance. Within human populations, the mitochondrial genome has a high rate of sequence divergence with multiple polymorphic variants and thus has played a major role in examining the evolutionary history of our species. In recent years it has also become apparent that pathogenic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations play an important role in neurological and other diseases. Patients harbor many different mtDNA mutations, some of which are mtDNA mutations, some of which are inherited, but others that seem to be sporadic. It has also been suggested that mtDNA mutations play a role in aging and cancer, but the evidence for a causative role in these conditions is less clear. The accumulated data would suggest, however, that mtDNA mutations occur on a frequent basis. In this article we describe a new phenomenon: the accumulation of mtDNA mutations in human colonic crypt stem cells that result in a significant biochemical defect in their progeny. These studies have important consequences not only for understanding of the finding of mtDNA mutations in aging tissues and tumors, but also for determining the frequency of mtDNA mutations within a cell.
The geobiotic history of landscapes can exhibit controls by tectonics over biotic evolution. This causal relationship positions ecologically specialized species as biotic indicators to decipher details of landscape evolution. Phylogeographic statistics that reconstruct spatio-temporal details of evolutionary histories of aquatic species, including fishes, can reveal key events of drainage evolution, notably where geochronological resolution is insufficient. Where geochronological resolution is insufficient, phylogeographic statistics that reconstruct spatio-temporal details of evolutionary histories of aquatic species, notably fishes, can reveal key events of drainage evolution. This study evaluates paleo-environmental causes of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) based phylogeographic records of tigerfishes, genus Hydrocynus, in order to reconstruct their evolutionary history in relation to landscape evolution across Africa. Strong geographical structuring in a cytochrome b (cyt-b) gene phylogeny confirms the established morphological diversity of Hydrocynus and reveals the existence of five previously unknown lineages, with Hydrocynus tanzaniae sister to a clade comprising three previously unknown lineages (Groups B, C and D) and H. vittatus. The dated phylogeny constrains the principal cladogenic events that have structured Hydrocynus diversity from the late Miocene to the Plio-Pleistocene (ca. 0–16 Ma). Phylogeographic tests reveal that the diversity and distribution of Hydrocynus reflects a complex history of vicariance and dispersals, whereby range expansions in particular species testify to changes to drainage basins. Principal divergence events in Hydrocynus have interfaced closely with evolving drainage systems across tropical Africa. Tigerfish evolution is attributed to dominant control by pulses of geotectonism across the African plate. Phylogenetic relationships and divergence estimates among the ten mtDNA lineages illustrates where and when local tectonic events modified Africa's Neogene drainage. Haplotypes shared amongst extant Hydrocynus populations across northern Africa testify to recent dispersals that were facilitated by late Neogene connections across the Nilo-Sahelian drainage. These events in tigerfish evolution concur broadly with available geological evidence and reveal prominent control by the African Rift System, evident in the formative events archived in phylogeographic records of tigerfish.