The circumscription of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea is a matter of long ongoing debate. While the overall inclusiveness has now been mostly agreed on and 20 families recognised, the phylogenetic relationships among the families are largely unknown. We here present a phylogenetic hypothesis for Sylvioidea based on one mitochondrial and six nuclear markers, in total ~6.3 kbp, for 79 ingroup species representing all currently recognised families and some species with uncertain affinities, making this the most comprehensive analysis of this taxon.
The resolution, especially of the deeper nodes, is much improved compared to previous studies. However, many relationships among families remain uncertain and are in need of verification. Most families themselves are very well supported based on the total data set and also by indels. Our data do not support the inclusion of Hylia in Cettiidae, but do not strongly reject a close relationship with Cettiidae either. The genera Scotocerca and Erythrocercus are closely related to Cettiidae, but separated by relatively long internodes. The families Paridae, Remizidae and Stenostiridae clustered among the outgroup taxa and not within Sylvioidea.
Although the phylogenetic position of Hylia is uncertain, we tentatively support the recognition of the family Hyliidae Bannerman, 1923 for this genus and Pholidornis. We propose new family names for the genera Scotocerca and Erythrocercus, Scotocercidae and Erythrocercidae, respectively, rather than including these in Cettiidae, and we formally propose the name Macrosphenidae, which has been in informal use for some time. We recommend that Paridae, Remizidae and Stenostiridae are not included in Sylvioidea. We also briefly discuss the problems of providing a morphological diagnosis when proposing a new family-group name (or genus-group name) based on a clade.
Phylogeny; Passerines; Taxonomic revision; International Code of Zoological Nomenclature
We present the first phylogenetic study on the widespread Middle American microhylid frog genus Hypopachus. Partial sequences of mitochondrial (12S and 16S ribosomal RNA) and nuclear (rhodopsin) genes (1275 bp total) were analyzed from 43 samples of Hypopachus, three currently recognized species of Gastrophryne, and seven arthroleptid, brevicipitid and microhylid outgroup taxa. Maximum parsimony (PAUP), maximum likelihood (RAxML) and Bayesian inference (MrBayes) optimality criteria were used for phylogenetic analyses, and BEAST was used to estimate divergence dates of major clades. Population-level analyses were conducted with the programs NETWORK and Arlequin. Results confirm the placement of Hypopachus and Gastrophryne as sister taxa, but the latter genus was strongly supported as paraphyletic. The African phrynomerine genus Phrynomantis was recovered as the sister taxon to a monophyletic Chiasmocleis, rendering our well-supported clade of gastrophrynines paraphyletic. Hypopachus barberi was supported as a disjunctly distributed highland species, and we recovered a basal split in lowland populations of Hypopachus variolosus from the Pacific versant of Mexico and elsewhere in the Mesoamerican lowlands. Dating analyses from BEAST estimate speciation within the genus Hypopachus occurred in the late Miocene/early Pliocene for most clades. Previous studies have not found bioacoustic or morphological differences among these lowland clades, and our molecular data support the continued recognition of two species in the genus Hypopachus.
Central America; frog; Mexico; phylogenetics; sequence divergence
Computational evolutionary biology, statistical phylogenetics and coalescent-based population genetics are becoming increasingly central to the analysis and understanding of molecular sequence data. We present the Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis by Sampling Trees (BEAST) software package version 1.7, which implements a family of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms for Bayesian phylogenetic inference, divergence time dating, coalescent analysis, phylogeography and related molecular evolutionary analyses. This package includes an enhanced graphical user interface program called Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Utility (BEAUti) that enables access to advanced models for molecular sequence and phenotypic trait evolution that were previously available to developers only. The package also provides new tools for visualizing and summarizing multispecies coalescent and phylogeographic analyses. BEAUti and BEAST 1.7 are open source under the GNU lesser general public license and available at http://beast-mcmc.googlecode.com and http://beast.bio.ed.ac.uk
Bayesian phylogenetics; evolution; phylogenetics; molecular evolution; coalescent theory
We have analysed the efficiency of all mitochondrial protein coding genes and six nuclear markers (Adora3, Adrb2, Bdnf, Irbp, Rag2 and Vwf) in reconstructing and statistically supporting known amniote groups (murines, rodents, primates, eutherians, metatherians, therians). The efficiencies of maximum likelihood, Bayesian inference, maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining and UPGMA were also evaluated, by assessing the number of correct and incorrect recovered groupings. In addition, we have compared support values using the conservative bootstrap test and the Bayesian posterior probabilities. First, no correlation was observed between gene size and marker efficiency in recovering or supporting correct nodes. As expected, tree-building methods performed similarly, even UPGMA that, in some cases, outperformed other most extensively used methods. Bayesian posterior probabilities tend to show much higher support values than the conservative bootstrap test, for correct and incorrect nodes. Our results also suggest that nuclear markers do not necessarily show a better performance than mitochondrial genes. The so-called dependency among mitochondrial markers was not observed comparing genome performances. Finally, the amniote groups with lowest recovery rates were therians and rodents, despite the morphological support for their monophyletic status. We suggest that, regardless of the tree-building method, a few carefully selected genes are able to unfold a detailed and robust scenario of phylogenetic hypotheses, particularly if taxon sampling is increased.
phylogenetic groups; mitochondrial genes; nuclear genes; tree-building methods; bootstrap tests
The evolutionary analysis of molecular sequence variation is a statistical enterprise. This is reflected in the increased use of probabilistic models for phylogenetic inference, multiple sequence alignment, and molecular population genetics. Here we present BEAST: a fast, flexible software architecture for Bayesian analysis of molecular sequences related by an evolutionary tree. A large number of popular stochastic models of sequence evolution are provided and tree-based models suitable for both within- and between-species sequence data are implemented.
BEAST version 1.4.6 consists of 81000 lines of Java source code, 779 classes and 81 packages. It provides models for DNA and protein sequence evolution, highly parametric coalescent analysis, relaxed clock phylogenetics, non-contemporaneous sequence data, statistical alignment and a wide range of options for prior distributions. BEAST source code is object-oriented, modular in design and freely available at under the GNU LGPL license.
BEAST is a powerful and flexible evolutionary analysis package for molecular sequence variation. It also provides a resource for the further development of new models and statistical methods of evolutionary analysis.
Seventy-two full genomes corresponding to nine mammalian (67 strains) and two avian (5 strains) polyomavirus species were analyzed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods of phylogenetic inference. Our fully resolved and well-supported (bootstrap proportions > 90%; posterior probabilities = 1.0) trees separate the bird polyomaviruses (avian polyomavirus and goose hemorrhagic polyomavirus) from the mammalian polyomaviruses, which supports the idea of spitting the genus into two subgenera. Such a split is also consistent with the different viral life strategies of each group. Simian (simian virus 40, simian agent 12 [Sa12], and lymphotropic polyomavirus) and rodent (hamster polyomavirus, mouse polyomavirus, and murine pneumotropic polyomavirus [MPtV]) polyomaviruses did not form monophyletic groups. Using our best hypothesis of polyomavirus evolutionary relationships and established host phylogenies, we performed a cophylogenetic reconciliation analysis of codivergence. Our analyses generated six optimal cophylogenetic scenarios of coevolution, including 12 codivergence events (P < 0.01), suggesting that Polyomaviridae coevolved with their avian and mammal hosts. As individual lineages, our analyses showed evidence of host switching in four terminal branches leading to MPtV, bovine polyomavirus, Sa12, and BK virus, suggesting a combination of vertical and horizontal transfer in the evolutionary history of the polyomaviruses.
Background and Aims
Here evidence for reticulation in the pantropical orchid genus Polystachya is presented, using gene trees from five nuclear and plastid DNA data sets, first among only diploid samples (homoploid hybridization) and then with the inclusion of cloned tetraploid sequences (allopolyploids). Two groups of tetraploids are compared with respect to their origins and phylogenetic relationships.
Sequences from plastid regions, three low-copy nuclear genes and ITS nuclear ribosomal DNA were analysed for 56 diploid and 17 tetraploid accessions using maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference. Reticulation was inferred from incongruence between gene trees using supernetwork and consensus network analyses and from cloning and sequencing duplicated loci in tetraploids.
Diploid trees from individual loci showed considerable incongruity but little reticulation signal when support from more than one gene tree was required to infer reticulation. This was coupled with generally low support in the individual gene trees. Sequencing the duplicated gene copies in tetraploids showed clearer evidence of hybrid evolution, including multiple origins of one group of tetraploids included in the study.
A combination of cloning duplicate gene copies in allotetraploids and consensus network comparison of gene trees allowed a phylogenetic framework for reticulation in Polystachya to be built. There was little evidence for homoploid hybridization, but our knowledge of the origins and relationships of three groups of allotetraploids are greatly improved by this study. One group showed evidence of multiple long-distance dispersals to achieve a pantropical distribution; another showed no evidence of multiple origins or long-distance dispersal but had greater morphological variation, consistent with hybridization between more distantly related parents.
Allopolyploidy; consensus network; filtered supernetwork; low-copy nuclear genes; Orchidaceae; phylogenetic analysis; Polystachya; reticulate evolution
Phenotypic and molecular genetic data often provide conflicting patterns of intraspecific relationships confounding phylogenetic inference, particularly among birds where a variety of environmental factors may influence plumage characters. Among diurnal raptors, the taxonomic relationship of Buteo jamaicensis harlani to other B. jamaicensis subspecies has been long debated because of the polytypic nature of the plumage characteristics used in subspecies or species designations.
To address the evolutionary relationships within this group, we used data from 17 nuclear microsatellite loci, 430 base pairs of the mitochondrial control region, and 829 base pairs of the melanocortin 1 receptor (Mc1r) to investigate molecular genetic differentiation among three B. jamaicensis subspecies (B. j. borealis, B. j. calurus, B. j. harlani). Bayesian clustering analyses of nuclear microsatellite loci showed no significant differences between B. j. harlani and B. j. borealis. Differences observed between B. j. harlani and B. j. borealis in mitochondrial and microsatellite data were equivalent to those found between morphologically similar subspecies, B. j. borealis and B. j. calurus, and estimates of migration rates among all three subspecies were high. No consistent differences were observed in Mc1r data between B. j. harlani and other B. jamaicensis subspecies or between light and dark color morphs within B. j. calurus, suggesting that Mc1r does not play a significant role in B. jamaicensis melanism.
These data suggest recent interbreeding and gene flow between B. j. harlani and the other B. jamaicensis subspecies examined, providing no support for the historical designation of B. j. harlani as a distinct species.
Nucleotide sequences from the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome-b gene were used to infer phylogenetic relationships and estimate genetic distances from 10 individuals of Melanomys caliginosus and to explore the hypothesis that this taxon is comprised of multiple species. Individuals of four geographic populations of M. caliginosus from Central America (Nicaragua and Costa Rica), Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador, respectively, were included in this analysis. Topologies obtained from maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference analyses were identical and produced clades referable to each of the geographic populations. Genetic distances between any pair-wise comparisons of the four groups (except between Panamanian and Venezuelan samples) were comparable to values estimated from comparisons of sister species in the closely related genus Nectomys. Distances between samples from Panama and Venezuela were greater than those of samples within the Ecuadorian and Central American clades, but less than that between species of Nectomys. Based on results from the sequence data, it appears that all four of the populations should be elevated to species level; however, additional data are needed to resolve the nomenclature of the Panamanian and Venezuelan populations.
Melanomys caliginosus; Melanomys chyrsomelas; Melanomys columbianus; Melanomys idoneus; molecular phylogenetics; Oryzomyini
Estimates of relationships among Staphylococcus species have been hampered by poor and inconsistent resolution of phylogenies based largely on single gene analyses incorporating only a limited taxon sample. As such, the evolutionary relationships and hierarchical classification schemes among species have not been confidently established. Here, we address these points through analyses of DNA sequence data from multiple loci (16S rRNA gene, dnaJ, rpoB, and tuf gene fragments) using multiple Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic approaches that incorporate nearly all recognized Staphylococcus taxa.
We estimated the phylogeny of fifty-seven Staphylococcus taxa using partitioned-model Bayesian and maximum likelihood analysis, as well as Bayesian gene-tree species-tree methods. Regardless of methodology, we found broad agreement among methods that the current cluster groups require revision, although there was some disagreement among methods in resolution of higher order relationships. Based on our phylogenetic estimates, we propose a refined classification for Staphylococcus with species being classified into 15 cluster groups (based on molecular data) that adhere to six species groups (based on phenotypic properties).
Our findings are in general agreement with gene tree-based reports of the staphylococcal phylogeny, although we identify multiple previously unreported relationships among species. Our results support the general importance of such multilocus assessments as a standard in microbial studies to more robustly infer relationships among recognized and newly discovered lineages.
Molecular phylogenetic studies have not yet reached a consensus on the placement of Ginkgoales, which is represented by the only living species, Ginkgo biloba (common name: ginkgo). At least six discrepant placements of ginkgo have been proposed. This study aimed to use the chloroplast phylogenomic approach to examine possible factors that lead to such disagreeing placements. We found the sequence types used in the analyses as the most critical factor in the conflicting placements of ginkgo. In addition, the placement of ginkgo varied in the trees inferred from nucleotide (NU) sequences, which notably depended on breadth of taxon sampling, tree-building methods, codon positions, positions of Gnetopsida (common name: gnetophytes), and including or excluding gnetophytes in data sets. In contrast, the trees inferred from amino acid (AA) sequences congruently supported the monophyly of a ginkgo and Cycadales (common name: cycads) clade, regardless of which factors were examined. Our site-stripping analysis further revealed that the high substitution saturation of NU sequences mainly derived from the third codon positions and contributed to the variable placements of ginkgo. In summary, the factors we surveyed did not affect results inferred from analyses of AA sequences. Congruent topologies in our AA trees give more confidence in supporting the ginkgo–cycad sister-group hypothesis.
phylogenomics; cycads; chloroplast; seed plants; ginkgo
Comparative genomic studies are revealing frequent gains and losses of whole genes via duplication and pseudogenization. One commonly used method for inferring the number and timing of gene gains and losses reconciles the gene tree for each gene family with the species tree of the taxa considered. Recent studies using this approach have found a large number of ancient duplications and recent losses among vertebrate genomes.
I show that tree reconciliation methods are biased when the inferred gene tree is not correct. This bias places duplicates towards the root of the tree and losses towards the tips of the tree. I demonstrate that this bias is present when tree reconciliation is conducted on both multiple mammal and Drosophila genomes, and that lower bootstrap cut-off values on gene trees lead to more extreme bias. I also suggest a method for dealing with reconciliation bias, although this method only corrects for the number of gene gains on some branches of the species tree.
Based on the results presented, it is likely that most tree reconciliation analyses show biases, unless the gene trees used are exceptionally well-resolved and well-supported. These results cast doubt upon previous conclusions that vertebrate genome history has been marked by many ancient duplications and many recent gene losses.
Non-parametric bootstrapping is a widely-used statistical procedure for assessing confidence of model parameters based on the empirical distribution of the observed data  and, as such, it has become a common method for assessing tree confidence in phylogenetics . Traditional non-parametric bootstrapping does not weigh each tree inferred from resampled (i.e., pseudo-replicated) sequences. Hence, the quality of these trees is not taken into account when computing bootstrap scores associated with the clades of the original phylogeny. As a consequence, traditionally, the trees with different bootstrap support or those providing a different fit to the corresponding pseudo-replicated sequences (the fit quality can be expressed through the LS, ML or parsimony score) contribute in the same way to the computation of the bootstrap support of the original phylogeny.
In this article, we discuss the idea of applying weighted bootstrapping to phylogenetic reconstruction by weighting each phylogeny inferred from resampled sequences. Tree weights can be based either on the least-squares (LS) tree estimate or on the average secondary bootstrap score (SBS) associated with each resampled tree. Secondary bootstrapping consists of the estimation of bootstrap scores of the trees inferred from resampled data. The LS and SBS-based bootstrapping procedures were designed to take into account the quality of each "pseudo-replicated" phylogeny in the final tree estimation. A simulation study was carried out to evaluate the performances of the five weighting strategies which are as follows: LS and SBS-based bootstrapping, LS and SBS-based bootstrapping with data normalization and the traditional unweighted bootstrapping.
The simulations conducted with two real data sets and the five weighting strategies suggest that the SBS-based bootstrapping with the data normalization usually exhibits larger bootstrap scores and a higher robustness compared to the four other competing strategies, including the traditional bootstrapping. The high robustness of the normalized SBS could be particularly useful in situations where observed sequences have been affected by noise or have undergone massive insertion or deletion events. The results provided by the four other strategies were very similar regardless the noise level, thus also demonstrating the stability of the traditional bootstrapping method.
One hundred DNA sequences from the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene of 44 species of deer mice (Peromyscus (sensu stricto), 1 of Habromys, 1 of Isthmomys, 2 of Megadontomys, and the monotypic genera Neotomodon, Osgoodomys, and Podomys were used to develop a molecular phylogeny for Peromyscus. Phylogenetic analyses (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference) were conducted to evaluate alternative hypotheses concerning taxonomic arrangements (sensu stricto versus sensu lato) of the genus. In all analyses, monophyletic clades were obtained that corresponded to species groups proposed by previous authors; however, relationships among species groups generally were poorly resolved. The concept of the genus Peromyscus based on molecular data differed significantly from the most current taxonomic arrangement. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian trees depicted strong support for a clade placing Habromys, Megadontomys, Neotomodon, Osgoodomys, and Podomys within Peromyscus. If Habromys, Megadontomys, Neotomodon, Osgoodomys, and Podomys are regarded as genera, then several species groups within Peromyscus (sensu stricto) should be elevated to generic rank. Isthmomys was associated with the genus Reithrodontomys; in turn this clade was sister to Baiomys, indicating a distant relationship of Isthmomys to Peromyscus. A formal taxonomic revision awaits synthesis of additional sequence data from nuclear markers together with inclusion of available allozymic and karyotypic data.
cytochrome-b gene; Peromyscus; phylogeny; species group; systematics
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
The mangrove forests of Australasia have many endemic bird species but their
evolution and radiation in those habitats has been little studied. One genus
with several mangrove specialist species is Gerygone
(Passeriformes: Acanthizidae). The phylogeny of the Acanthizidae is reasonably
well understood but limited taxon sampling for Gerygone has
constrained understanding of its evolution and historical biogeography in
mangroves. Here we report on a phylogenetic analysis of
Gerygone based on comprehensive taxon sampling and a
multilocus dataset of thirteen loci spread across the avian genome (eleven
nuclear and two mitochondrial loci). Since Gerygone includes
three species restricted to Australia's coastal mangrove forests, we
particularly sought to understand the biogeography of their evolution in that
ecosystem. Analyses of individual loci, as well as of a concatenated dataset
drawn from previous molecular studies indicates that the genus as currently
defined is not monophyletic, and that the Grey Gerygone (G.
cinerea) from New Guinea should be transferred to the genus
Acanthiza. The multilocus approach has permitted the
nuanced view of the group's evolution into mangrove ecosystems having
occurred on multiple occasions, in three non-overlapping time frames, most
likely first by the G. magnirostris lineage, and subsequently
followed by those of G. tenebrosa and G.
Bayesian phylogenetic inference holds promise as an alternative to maximum likelihood, particularly for large molecular-sequence data sets. We have investigated the performance of Bayesian inference with empirical and simulated protein-sequence data under conditions of relative branch-length differences and model violation.
With empirical protein-sequence data, Bayesian posterior probabilities provide more-generous estimates of subtree reliability than does the nonparametric bootstrap combined with maximum likelihood inference, reaching 100% posterior probability at bootstrap proportions around 80%. With simulated 7-taxon protein-sequence datasets, Bayesian posterior probabilities are somewhat more generous than bootstrap proportions, but do not saturate. Compared with likelihood, Bayesian phylogenetic inference can be as or more robust to relative branch-length differences for datasets of this size, particularly when among-sites rate variation is modeled using a gamma distribution. When the (known) correct model was used to infer trees, Bayesian inference recovered the (known) correct tree in 100% of instances in which one or two branches were up to 20-fold longer than the others. At ratios more extreme than 20-fold, topological accuracy of reconstruction degraded only slowly when only one branch was of relatively greater length, but more rapidly when there were two such branches. Under an incorrect model of sequence change, inaccurate trees were sometimes observed at less extreme branch-length ratios, and (particularly for trees with single long branches) such trees tended to be more inaccurate. The effect of model violation on accuracy of reconstruction for trees with two long branches was more variable, but gamma-corrected Bayesian inference nonetheless yielded more-accurate trees than did either maximum likelihood or uncorrected Bayesian inference across the range of conditions we examined. Assuming an exponential Bayesian prior on branch lengths did not improve, and under certain extreme conditions significantly diminished, performance. The two topology-comparison metrics we employed, edit distance and Robinson-Foulds symmetric distance, yielded different but highly complementary measures of performance.
Our results demonstrate that Bayesian inference can be relatively robust against biologically reasonable levels of relative branch-length differences and model violation, and thus may provide a promising alternative to maximum likelihood for inference of phylogenetic trees from protein-sequence data.
Background and Aims
The Arecoideae is the largest and most diverse of the five subfamilies of palms (Arecaceae/Palmae), containing >50 % of the species in the family. Despite its importance, phylogenetic relationships among Arecoideae are poorly understood. Here the most densely sampled phylogenetic analysis of Arecoideae available to date is presented. The results are used to test the current classification of the subfamily and to identify priority areas for future research.
DNA sequence data for the low-copy nuclear genes PRK and RPB2 were collected from 190 palm species, covering 103 (96 %) genera of Arecoideae. The data were analysed using the parsimony ratchet, maximum likelihood, and both likelihood and parsimony bootstrapping.
Key Results and Conclusions
Despite the recovery of paralogues and pseudogenes in a small number of taxa, PRK and RPB2 were both highly informative, producing well-resolved phylogenetic trees with many nodes well supported by bootstrap analyses. Simultaneous analyses of the combined data sets provided additional resolution and support. Two areas of incongruence between PRK and RPB2 were strongly supported by the bootstrap relating to the placement of tribes Chamaedoreeae, Iriarteeae and Reinhardtieae; the causes of this incongruence remain uncertain. The current classification within Arecoideae was strongly supported by the present data. Of the 14 tribes and 14 sub-tribes in the classification, only five sub-tribes from tribe Areceae (Basseliniinae, Linospadicinae, Oncospermatinae, Rhopalostylidinae and Verschaffeltiinae) failed to receive support. Three major higher level clades were strongly supported: (1) the RRC clade (Roystoneeae, Reinhardtieae and Cocoseae), (2) the POS clade (Podococceae, Oranieae and Sclerospermeae) and (3) the core arecoid clade (Areceae, Euterpeae, Geonomateae, Leopoldinieae, Manicarieae and Pelagodoxeae). However, new data sources are required to elucidate ambiguities that remain in phylogenetic relationships among and within the major groups of Arecoideae, as well as within the Areceae, the largest tribe in the palm family.
Arecaceae; Areceae; Arecoideae; coconut; Cocos; Elaeis; incongruence; low-copy nuclear DNA; oil palm; Palmae; paralogy; phylogeny; pseudogene
Several methods have been designed to infer species trees from gene trees while taking into account gene tree/species tree discordance. Although some of these methods provide consistent species tree topology estimates under a standard model, most either do not estimate branch lengths or are computationally slow. An exception, the GLASS method of Mossel and Roch, is consistent for the species tree topology, estimates branch lengths, and is computationally fast. However, GLASS systematically overestimates divergence times, leading to biased estimates of species tree branch lengths. By assuming a multispecies coalescent model in which multiple lineages are sampled from each of two taxa at L independent loci, we derive the distribution of the waiting time until the first interspecific coalescence occurs between the two taxa, considering all loci and measuring from the divergence time. We then use the mean of this distribution to derive a correction to the GLASS estimator of pairwise divergence times. We show that our improved estimator, which we call iGLASS, consistently estimates the divergence time between a pair of taxa as the number of loci approaches infinity, and that it is an unbiased estimator of divergence times when one lineage is sampled per taxon. We also show that many commonly used clustering methods can be combined with the iGLASS estimator of pairwise divergence times to produce a consistent estimator of the species tree topology. Through simulations, we show that iGLASS can greatly reduce the bias and mean squared error in obtaining estimates of divergence times in a species tree.
algorithms; coalescence; phylogenetic trees
We examined the phylogenetic history of Linaria with special emphasis on the Mediterranean sect. Supinae (44 species). We revealed extensive highly supported incongruence among two nuclear (ITS, AGT1) and two plastid regions (rpl32-trnLUAG, trnS-trnG). Coalescent simulations, a hybrid detection test and species tree inference in *BEAST revealed that incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization may both be responsible for the incongruent pattern observed. Additionally, we present a multilabelled *BEAST species tree as an alternative approach that allows the possibility of observing multiple placements in the species tree for the same taxa. That permitted the incorporation of processes such as hybridization within the tree while not violating the assumptions of the *BEAST model. This methodology is presented as a functional tool to disclose the evolutionary history of species complexes that have experienced both hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting. The drastic climatic events that have occurred in the Mediterranean since the late Miocene, including the Quaternary-type climatic oscillations, may have made both processes highly recurrent in the Mediterranean flora.
The internal phylogeny of the 'myriapod' class Chilopoda is evaluated for 12 species belonging to the five extant centipede orders, using 18S rDNA complete gene sequence and 28S rDNA partial gene sequence data. Equally and differentially weighted parsimony, neighbour-joining and maximum-likelihood were used for phylogenetic reconstruction, and bootstrapping and branch support analyses were performed to evaluate tree topology stability. The results show that the Chilopoda constitute a monophyletic group that is divided into two lines, Notostigmophora (= Scutigeromorpha) and Pleurostigmophora, as found in previous morphological analyses. The Notostigmophora are markedly modified for their epigenic mode of life. The first offshoot of the Pleurostigmophora are the Lithobiomorpha, followed by the Craterostigmomorpha and by the Epimorpha s. str. (= Scolopendromorpha + Geophilomorpha), although strong support for the monophyly of the Epimorpha s. lat. (= Craterostigmomorpha + Epimorpha s. str.) is only found in the differentially weighted parsimony analysis.
Megaloptera are a basal holometabolous insect order with larvae exclusively predacious and aquatic. The evolutionary history of Megaloptera attracts great interest because of its antiquity and important systematic status in Holometabola. However, due to the difficulties identifying morphological apomorphies for the group, controversial hypotheses on the monophyly and higher phylogeny of Megaloptera have been proposed. Herein, we describe the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of a fishfly species, Neochauliodes punctatolosus Liu & Yang, 2006, representing the first mt genome of the subfamily Chauliodinae. A phylogenomic analysis was carried out based on the mt genomic sequences of 13 mt protein-coding genes (PCGs) and two rRNA genes of nine Neuropterida species, comprising all three orders of Neuropterida and all families and subfamilies of Megaloptera. Both maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analyses highly support the monophyly of Megaloptera, which was recovered as the sister of Neuroptera. Within Megaloptera, the sister relationship between Corydalinae and Chauliodinae was corroborated. The divergence time estimation suggests that stem lineage of Neuropterida and Coleoptera separated in the Early Permian. The interordinal divergence within Neuropterida might have occurred in the Late Permian.
The biogeography of islands is often strongly influenced by prior geological events. Corucia zebrata (Squamata: Scincidae) is endemic to the geologically complex Solomon Archipelago in Northern Melanesia. We examined the level of divergence for different island populations of C. zebrata and discussed these patterns in light of Pleistocene land bridges, island isolation, and island age. Corucia zebrata was sampled from 14 locations across the Solomon Archipelago and sequenced at two mitochondrial genes (ND2 and ND4; 1697 bp in total) and four nuclear loci (rhodopsin, an unknown intron, AKAP9, and PTPN12). Measures of genetic divergence, analyses of genetic variation, and Bayesian phylogenetic inference were used and the data assessed in light of geological information. Populations of C. zebrata on separate islands were found to be genetically different from each other, with reciprocal monophyly on mitochondrial DNA. Populations on islands previously connected by Pleistocene land bridges were marginally less divergent from each other than from populations on other nearby but isolated islands. There are indications that C. zebrata has radiated across the eastern islands of the archipelago within the last 1–4 million years. Nuclear loci were not sufficiently informative to yield further information about the phylogeography of C. zebrata on the Solomon Archipelago. Analyses of the mitochondrial data suggest that dispersal between islands has been very limited and that there are barriers to gene flow within the major islands. Islands that have been isolated during the Pleistocene glacial cycles are somewhat divergent in their mitochondrial genotypes, however, isolation by distance (IBD) and recent colonization of isolated but geologically younger islands appear to have had stronger effects on the phylogeography of C. zebrata than the Pleistocene glacial cycles. This contrasts with patterns reported for avian taxa, and highlights the fact that biogeographic regions for island species cannot be directly extrapolated among taxa of differing dispersal ability.
Colonization; Corucia zebrata; dating; island biogeography; Melanesia; ND2; ND4; Solomon Archipelago
The African and Asian elephants and the mammoth diverged ca. 4-6 million years ago and their phylogenetic relationship has been controversial. Morphological studies have suggested a mammoth Asian elephant relationship, while molecular studies have produced conflicting results. We obtained cytochrome b sequences of up to 545 base pairs from five mammoths, 14 Asian and eight African elephants. A high degree of polymorphism is detected within species. With a dugong sequence used as the outgroup, parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses support a mammoth African elephant clade. As the dugong is a very distant outgroup, we employ likelihood analysis to root the tree with a molecular clock, and use bootstrap and Bayesian analyses to quantify the relative support for different topologies. The analyses support the mammoth African elephant relationship, although other trees cannot be rejected. Ancestral polymorphisms may have resulted in gene trees differing from the species phylogeny Examination of morphological data, especially from primitive fossil members, indicates that some supposed synapomorphies between the mammoth and Asian elephant are variable, others convergent or autapomorphous. A mammoth African elephant relationship is not excluded. Our results highlight the need, in both morphological and molecular phylogenetics, for multiple markers and close attention to within-taxon variation and outgroup selection.
The Cladia aggregata complex is one of the phenotypically most variable groups in lichenized fungi, making species determination difficult and resulting in different classifications accepting between one to eight species. Multi-locus DNA sequence data provide an avenue to test species delimitation scenarios using genealogical and coalescent methods, employing gene and species trees. Here we tested species delimitation in the complex using molecular data of four loci (nuITS and IGS rDNA, protein-coding GAPDH and Mcm-7), including 474 newly generated sequences. Using a combination of ML and Bayesian gene tree topologies, species tree inferences, coalescent-based species delimitation, and examination of phenotypic variation we assessed the circumscription of lineages. We propose that results from our analyses support a 12 species delimitation scenario, suggesting that there is a high level of species diversity in the complex. Morphological and chemical characters often do not characterize lineages but show some degree of plasticity within at least some of the clades. However, clades can often be characterized by a combination of several phenotypical characters. In contrast to the amount of homoplasy in the morphological characters, the data set exhibits some geographical patterns with putative species having distribution patterns, such as austral, Australasian or being endemic to Australia, New Zealand or Tasmania.