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Expressed sequence tags as a tool for phylogenetic analysis of placental mammal evolution.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:We investigate the usefulness of expressed sequence tags, ESTs, for establishing divergences within the tree of placental mammals. This is done on the example of the established relationships among primates (human), lagomorphs (rabbit), rodents (rat and mouse), artiodactyls (cow), carnivorans (dog) and proboscideans (elephant). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:We have produced 2000 ESTs (1.2 mega bases) from a marsupial mouse and characterized the data for their use in phylogenetic analysis. The sequences were used to identify putative orthologous sequences from whole genome projects. Although most ESTs stem from single sequence reads, the frequency of potential sequencing errors was found to be lower than allelic variation. Most of the sequences represented slowly evolving housekeeping-type genes, with an average amino acid distance of 6.6% between human and mouse. Positive Darwinian selection was identified at only a few single sites. Phylogenetic analyses of the EST data yielded trees that were consistent with those established from whole genome projects. CONCLUSIONS:The general quality of EST sequences and the general absence of positive selection in these sequences make ESTs an attractive tool for phylogenetic analysis. The EST approach allows, at reasonable costs, a fast extension of data sampling from species outside the genome projects.

SUBMITTER: Kullberg M 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1942079 | BioStudies | 2007-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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