Molecular phylogeny and intraspecific differentiation of the Trapelus agilis species complex in Iran (Squamata: Agamidae) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.
ABSTRACT: Background:Trapelus agilis consists of different morphotypes with restricted distributions in the Iranian Plateau. The phylogeny of the species complex has not been resolved so far, but recently Trapelus sanguinolentus were elevated from this complex into a full species. Other populations of the species complex need to be evaluated taxonomically. Methods:In the present study, several populations of this species complex along with specimens of its closely related taxa in Iran, T. sanguinolentus, T. ruderatus and T. persicus, were examined using partial nucleotide sequences of two mitochondrial genes (cytb and ND2) (total length 1,322 bp). Result:Populations of T. sanguinolentus clustered within the T. agilis species complex, thus indicating its paraphyly, but T. sanguinolentus was previously determined to be a species based on morphological features. The T. agilis species complex forms two distinct major clades, each of which is represented by several local populations on the Iranian Plateau. At least five distinct taxa can be identified within this traditional group. Our biogeographic evaluation of the molecular dataset suggested that the Trapelus complex originated in the Late Oligocene (30 mya) and subsequently diversified during the early to middle Miocene (22-13 mya). At first, the predominantly western clade of Trapelus ruderatus diverged from the other clades (22 mya). Afterward, Trapelus persicus diverged around 18 mya ago. The broader T. agilis complex started to diverge about 16 mya, forming several clades on the Iranian Plateau and in Central Asia. The different lineages within this species complex appear to be the result of vicariance events and dispersal waives. The corresponding vicariance events are the formation of the Zagros and Kopet Dagh basins (16-14 mya), and consequently, the aridification of the Iranian Plateau in the late Miocene (11-6 Mya).
Project description:BACKGROUND: Annual Nothobranchius fishes are distributed in East and Southern Africa and inhabit ephemeral pools filled during the monsoon season. Nothobranchius show extreme life-history adaptations: embryos survive by entering diapause and they are the vertebrates with the fastest maturation and the shortest lifespan. The distribution of Nothobranchius overlaps with the East Africa Rift System. The geological and paleoclimatic history of this region is known in detail: in particular, aridification of East Africa and expansion of grassland habitats started 8 Mya and three humid periods between 3 and 1 Mya are superimposed on the longer-term aridification. These climatic oscillations are thought to have shaped evolution of savannah African mammals. We reconstructed the phylogeny of Nothobranchius and dated the different stages of diversification in relation to these paleoclimatic events. RESULTS: We sequenced one mitochondrial locus and five nuclear loci in 63 specimens and obtained a robust phylogeny. Nothobranchius can be divided in four geographically separated clades whose boundaries largely correspond to the East Africa Rift system. Statistical analysis of dispersal and vicariance identifies a Nilo-Sudan origin with southwards dispersion and confirmed that these four clades are the result of vicariance events In the absence of fossil Nothobranchius, molecular clock was calibrated using more distant outgroups (secondary calibration). This method estimates the age of the Nothobranchius genus to be 8.3 (6.0 - 10.7) My and the separation of the four clades 4.8 (2.7-7.0) Mya. Diversification within the clades was estimated to have started ~3 Mya and most species pairs were estimated to have an age of 0.5-1 My. CONCLUSIONS: The mechanism of Nothobranchius diversification was allopatric and driven by geographic isolation. We propose a scenario where diversification of Nothobranchius started in rough coincidence with aridification of East Africa, establishment of grassland habitats and the appearance of the typical African bovid fauna of the savannah. Although confidence intervals for the estimated ages of the four Nothobranchius clades are quite large, this scenario is compatible with the biology of extant Nothobranchius that are critically dependent on savannah habitats. Therefore, Nothobranchius diversification might have been shaped by the same paleoclimatic events that shaped African ungulate evolution.
Project description:Phylogeography and historical demography of the cyprinid fish Diptychus maculatus (subfamily Schizothoracinae) are evaluated across three river systems in the Northern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and Tien Shan range: the Indus River, Tarim River and Ili River.Results from both mtDNA (16S rRNA, Cyt b and D-loop) and nucDNA (RAG-2) resolved four reciprocally monophyletic clades, representing populations from Indus River, South Tarim River, North Tarim River and Ili River, respectively. The divergence times was estimated to be 1.5-2.5 Mya. It is consistent with the hypothesis that the split of four clades is the consequence of vicariance resulting from both the intensive uplift of QTP and Tien Shan as well as the resultant expansion of the Taklimakan Desert. Several lines of evidences indicate dynamic demographic histories for the populations, with late Pleistocene and Holocene population bottlenecks and expansions except the Indus River.Our results clearly depicted the phylogenetic relationship of D. maculatus from Indus River, Tarim River and Ili River. The analyses implicated the relationship among the distribution of D. maculatus, paleo-drainages and geographic events, and implied the existence of the South Tarim River in history.
Project description:The liquorice genus, Glycyrrhiza L. (Leguminosae), is a medicinal herb with great economic importance and an intriguing intercontinental disjunct distribution in Eurasia, North Africa, the Americas, and Australia. Glycyrrhiza, along with Glycyrrhizopsis Boiss. and Meristotropis Fisch. & C.A.Mey., comprise Glycyrrhiza s.l. Here we reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic history in Glycyrrhiza s.l. using sequence data of whole chloroplast genomes. We found that Glycyrrhiza s.l. is sister to the tribe Wisterieae and is divided into four main clades. Clade I, corresponds to Glycyrrhizopsis and is sister to Glycyrrhiza sensu Meng. Meristotropis is embedded within Glycyrrhiza sensu Meng, and these two genera together form Clades II-IV. Based on biogeographic analyses and divergence time dating, Glycyrrhiza s.l. originated during the late Eocene and its most recent common ancestor (MRCA) was distributed in the interior of Eurasia and the circum-Mediterranean region. A vicariance event, which was possibly a response to the uplifting of the Turkish-Iranian Plateau, may have driven the divergence between Glycyrrhiza sensu Meng and Glycyrrhizopsis in the Middle Miocene. The third and fourth main uplift events of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau may have led to rapid evolutionary diversification within Glycyrrhiza sensu Meng. Subsequently, the MRCA of Clade II might have migrated to North America (G. lepidota) via the Bering land bridge during the early Pliocene, and reached temperate South America (G. astragalina) by long-distance dispersal (LDD). Within Clade III, the ancestor of G. acanthocarpa arrived at southern Australia through LDD after the late Pliocene, whereas all other species (the SPEY clade) migrated to the interior of Eurasia and the Mediterranean region in the early Pleistocene. The MRCA of Clade IV was restricted in the interior of Eurasia, but its descendants have become widespread in temperate regions of the Old World Northern Hemisphere during the last million years.
Project description:The southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau (SEMTP) is a particularly interesting region due to its topographic complexity and unique geologic history, but phylogeographic studies that focus on this region are rare. In this study, we investigated the phylogeography of the South China field mouse, Apodemus draco, in order to assess the role of geologic and climatic events on the Tibetan Plateau in shaping its genetic structure. We sequenced mitochondrial cytochrome b (cyt b) sequences in 103 individuals from 47 sampling sites. In addition, 23 cyt b sequences were collected from GenBank for analyses. Phylogenetic, demographic and landscape genetic methods were conducted. Seventy-six cyt b haplotypes were found and the genetic diversity was extremely high (π = 0.0368; h = 0.989). Five major evolutionary clades, based on geographic locations, were identified. Demographic analyses implied subclade 1A and subclade 1B experienced population expansions at about 0.052-0.013 Mya and 0.014-0.004 Mya, respectively. The divergence time analysis showed that the split between clade 1 and clade 2 occurred 0.26 Mya, which fell into the extensive glacial period (EGP, 0.5-0.17 Mya). The divergence times of other main clades (2.20-0.55 Mya) were congruent with the periods of the Qingzang Movement (3.6-1.7 Mya) and the Kun-Huang Movement (1.2-0.6 Mya), which were known as the most intense uplift events in the Tibetan Plateau. Our study supported the hypothesis that the SEMTP was a large late Pleistocene refugium, and further inferred that the Gongga Mountain Region and Hongya County were glacial refugia for A. draco in clade 1. We hypothesize that the evolutionary history of A. draco in the SEMTP primarily occurred in two stages. First, an initial divergence would have been shaped by uplift events of the Tibetan Plateau. Then, major glaciations in the Pleistocene added complexity to its demographic history and genetic structure.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The avian Order Passeriformes is an enormously species-rich group, which comprises almost 60% of all living bird species. This diverse order is believed to have originated before the break-up of Gondwana in the late Cretaceous. However, previous molecular dating studies have relied heavily on the geological split between New Zealand and Antarctica, assumed to have occurred 85-82 Mya, for calibrating the molecular clock and might thus be circular in their argument. RESULTS: This study provides a time-scale for the evolution of the major clades of passerines using seven nuclear markers, five taxonomically well-determined passerine fossils, and an updated interpretation of the New Zealand split from Antarctica 85-52 Mya in a Bayesian relaxed-clock approach. We also assess how different interpretations of the New Zealand-Antarctica vicariance event influence our age estimates. Our results suggest that the diversification of Passeriformes began in the late Cretaceous or early Cenozoic. Removing the root calibration for the New Zealand-Antarctica vicariance event (85-52 Mya) dramatically increases the 95% credibility intervals and leads to unrealistically old age estimates. We assess the individual characteristics of the seven nuclear genes analyzed in our study. Our analyses provide estimates of divergence times for the major groups of passerines, which can be used as secondary calibration points in future molecular studies. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis takes recent paleontological and geological findings into account and provides the best estimate of the passerine evolutionary time-scale currently available. This time-scale provides a temporal framework for further biogeographical, ecological, and co-evolutionary studies of the largest bird radiation, and adds to the growing support for a Cretaceous origin of Passeriformes.
Project description:The Middle East contains a great diversity of Capoeta species, but their taxonomy remains poorly described. We used mitochondrial history to examine diversity of the algae-scraping cyprinid Capoeta in Iran, applying the species-delimiting approaches General Mixed Yule-Coalescent (GMYC) and Poisson Tree Process (PTP) as well as haplotype network analyses. Using the BEAST program, we also examined temporal divergence patterns of Capoeta. The monophyly of the genus and the existence of three previously described main clades (Mesopotamian, Anatolian-Iranian, and Aralo-Caspian) were confirmed. However, the phylogeny proposed novel taxonomic findings within Capoeta. Results of GMYC, bPTP, and phylogenetic analyses were similar and suggested that species diversity in Iran is currently underestimated. At least four candidate species, Capoeta sp4, Capoeta sp5, Capoeta sp6, and Capoeta sp7, are awaiting description. Capoeta capoeta comprises a species complex with distinct genetic lineages. The divergence times of the three main Capoeta clades are estimated to have occurred around 15.6-12.4 Mya, consistent with a Mio-Pleistocene origin of the diversity of Capoeta in Iran. The changes in Caspian Sea levels associated with climate fluctuations and geomorphological events such as the uplift of the Zagros and Alborz Mountains may account for the complex speciation patterns in Capoeta in Iran.
Project description:Species of the genus Dormitator, also known as sleepers, are representatives of the amphidromous freshwater fish fauna that inhabit the tropical and subtropical coastal environments of the Americas and Western Africa. Because of the distribution of this genus, it could be hypothesized that the evolutionary patterns in this genus, including a pair of geminate species across the Central American Isthmus, could be explained by vicariance following the break-up of Gondwana. However, the evolutionary history of this group has not been evaluated. We constructed a time-scaled molecular phylogeny of Dormitator using mitochondrial (Cytochrome b) and nuclear (Rhodopsin and ?-actin) DNA sequence data to infer and date the cladogenetic events that drove the diversification of the genus and to relate them to the biogeographical history of Central America. Two divergent lineages of Dormitator were recovered: one that included all of the Pacific samples and another that included all of the eastern and western Atlantic samples. In contrast to the Pacific lineage, which showed no phylogeographic structure, the Atlantic lineage was geographically structured into four clades: Cameroon, Gulf of Mexico, West Cuba and Caribbean, showing evidence of potential cryptic species. The separation of the Pacific and Atlantic lineages was estimated to have occurred ~1 million years ago (Mya), whereas the four Atlantic clades showed mean times of divergence between 0.2 and 0.4 Mya. The splitting times of Dormitator between ocean basins are similar to those estimated for other geminate species pairs with shoreline estuarine preferences, which may indicate that the common evolutionary histories of the different clades are the result of isolation events associated with the closure of the Central American Isthmus and the subsequent climatic and oceanographic changes.
Project description:Recent advances in the understanding of the evolution of the Asian continent challenge the long-held belief of a faunal immigration into the Himalaya. Spiny frogs of the genus Nanorana are a characteristic faunal group of the Himalaya-Tibet orogen (HTO). We examine the phylogeny of these frogs to explore alternative biogeographic scenarios for their origin in the Greater Himalaya, namely, immigration, South Tibetan origin, strict vicariance. We sequenced 150 Nanorana samples from 62 localities for three mitochondrial (1,524 bp) and three nuclear markers (2,043 bp) and complemented the data with sequence data available from GenBank. We reconstructed a gene tree, phylogenetic networks, and ancestral areas. Based on the nuDNA, we also generated a time-calibrated species tree. The results revealed two major clades (Nanorana and Quasipaa), which originated in the Lower Miocene from eastern China and subsequently spread into the HTO (Nanorana). Five well-supported subclades are found within Nanorana: from the East, Central, and Northwest Himalaya, the Tibetan Plateau, and the southeastern Plateau margin. The latter subclade represents the most basal group (subgenus Chaparana), the Plateau group (Nanorana) represents the sister clade to all species of the Greater Himalaya (Paa). We found no evidence for an east-west range expansion of Paa along the Himalaya, nor clear support for a strict vicariance model. Diversification in each of the three Himalayan subclades has probably occurred in distinct areas. Specimens from the NW Himalaya are placed basally relative to the highly diverse Central Himalayan group, while the lineage from the Tibetan Plateau is placed within a more terminal clade. Our data indicate a Tibetan origin of Himalayan Nanorana and support a previous hypothesis, which implies that a significant part of the Himalayan biodiversity results from primary diversification of the species groups in South Tibet before this part of the HTO was uplifted to its recent heights.
Project description:The present study reports on three species of terrestrial isopods from western Iran. The genus Mongoloniscus Verhoeff, 1930 is recorded for the first time from Iran, with description of a new species: M. persicus sp. n. Protracheoniscus ehsani sp. n. is described and P. darevskii Borutzky, 1975 is redescribed based on Iranian specimens. The diagnostic characters of these species are figured and their geographical distribution is presented on a map.
Project description:BACKGROUND:As currently defined, the genus Postandrilus Qui and Bouché, 1998, (Lumbricidae) includes six earthworm species, five occurring in Majorca (Baleares Islands, western Mediterranean) and another in Galicia (NW Spain). This disjunct and restricted distribution raises some interesting phylogeographic questions: (1) Is Postandrilus distribution the result of the separation of the Baleares-Kabylies (BK) microplate from the proto-Iberian Peninsula in the Late Oligocene (30-28 Mya)--vicariant hypothesis? (2) Did Postandrilus diversify in Spain and then colonize the Baleares during the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC) 5.96-5.33 Mya--dispersal hypothesis? (3) Is the distribution the result of a two-step process--vicariance with subsequent dispersal? METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:To answer these questions and assess Postandrilus evolutionary relationships and systematics, we collected all of the six Postandrilus species (46 specimens - 16 locations) and used Aporrectodea morenoe and three Prosellodrilus and two Cataladrilus species as the outgroup. Regions of the nuclear 28S rDNA and mitochondrial 16S rDNA, 12S rDNA, ND1, COII and tRNA genes (4,666 bp) were sequenced and analyzed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods of phylogenetic and divergence time estimation. The resulting trees revealed six new Postandrilus species in Majorca that clustered with the other five species already described. This Majorcan clade was sister to an Iberian clade including A. morenoe (outgroup) and Postandrilus bertae. Our phylogeny and divergence time estimates indicated that the split between the Iberian and Majorcan Postandrilus clades took place 30.1 Mya, in concordance with the break of the BK microplate from the proto-Iberian Peninsula, and that the present Majorcan clade diversified 5.7 Mya, during the MSC. CONCLUSIONS:Postandrilus is highly diverse including multiple cryptic species in Majorca. The genus is not monophyletic and invalid as currently defined. Postandrilus is of vicariant origin and its radiation began in the Late Oligocene.