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1 February 2003 Phylogenetic Relationships and Divergence Times among Mustelids (Mammalia: Carnivora) Based on Nucleotide Sequences of the Nuclear Interphotoreceptor Retinoid Binding Protein and Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Genes
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Abstract

Phylogenetic relationships among 20 species-group taxa of Mustelidae, representing Mustelinae (Mustela, Martes, Gulo), Lutrinae (Enhydra), and Melinae (Meles), were examined using nucleotide sequences of the nuclear interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein (IRBP) and mitochondrial cytochrome b genes. Neighbor-joining and maximum-parsimony phylogenetic analyses on these genes separately and combined were conducted. While IRBP performed better than cytochrome b in recovering more-inclusive clades, cytochrome b demonstrated more resolving power in recovering less-inclusive clades. Strong support was found for a close affinity of Enhydra with Mustela to the exclusion of Martes and Gulo (causing Mustelinae to be paraphyletic); the most-basal position of Mustela vison within Mustela, followed by Mustela erminea; an association of Mustela lutreola, Mustela itatsi, Mustela sibirica, and the subgenus Putorius (including Mustela putorius and Mustela eversmanii), to the exclusion of Mustela nivalis and Mustela altaica; and a basal position of Mustela itatsi to a clade containing Mustela sibirica and Putorius. Whereas cytochrome b strongly supported Mustela lutreola as the sister species to Putorius, IRBP strongly supported its basal placement to the Mustela itatsi-Mustela sibirica-Putorius clade. The low level of sequence divergence in cytochrome b between Mustela lutreola and Putorius is therefore a result of interspecific mitochondrial introgression between these taxa, rather than a recent origin of Mustela lutreola in a close relationship to Putorius. Time estimates inferred from IRBP and cytochrome b for mustelid divergence events are mostly in agreement with the fossil record.

Jun J. Sato, Tetsuji Hosoda, Mieczyłlaw Wolsan, Kimiyuki Tsuchiya, Masahiko Yamamoto, and Hitoshi Suzuki "Phylogenetic Relationships and Divergence Times among Mustelids (Mammalia: Carnivora) Based on Nucleotide Sequences of the Nuclear Interphotoreceptor Retinoid Binding Protein and Mitochondrial Cytochrome b Genes," Zoological Science 20(2), 243-264, (1 February 2003). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.20.243
Received: 16 July 2002; Accepted: 1 October 2002; Published: 1 February 2003
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