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The complete phylogeny of pangolins

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Ondertitel:scaling up resources for the molecular tracing of the most trafficked mammals on earth
Pangolins, considered the most-trafficked mammals on Earth, are rapidly heading to extinction. Eight extant species of these African and Asian scale-bodied anteaters are commonly recognized, but their evolutionary relationships remain largely unexplored. Here, we present the most comprehensive phylogenetic assessment of pangolins, based on genetic variation of complete mitogenomes and 9 nuclear genes. We confirm deep divergence among Asian and African pangolins occurring not later than the Oligocene-Miocene boundary ca. 23 million years ago (Ma) (95% HPD = 18.7-27.2), limited fossil evidence suggesting dispersals from Europe. We recognize 3 genera including Manis (Asian pangolins), Smutsia (large African pangolins), and Phataginus (small African pangolins), which first diversified in the Middle-Upper Miocene (9.8-13.3 Ma) through a period of gradual cooling coinciding with a worldwide taxonomic diversification among mammals. Based on large mitogenomic distances among the 3 genera (18.3-22.8%) and numerous (18) morphological traits unique to Phataginus, we propose the subfamily Phatagininae subfam. nov. to designate small African pangolins. In contrast with the morphological-based literature, our results establish that the thick-tailed pangolin (Mams crassicaudata) is sister-species of the Sunda (Manis javanica) and Palawan (Manis culionensis) pangolins. Mitogenomic phylogenetic delineations supported additional pangolin species subdivisions (n = 13), including 6 African common pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) lineages, but these patterns were not fully supported by our multi-locus approach. Finally, we identified more than 5000 informative mitogenomic sites and diagnostic variation from 5 nuclear genes among all species and lineages of pangolins, providing an important resource for further research and for effectively tracing the worldwide pangolin trade.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Heredity
ISSN: 0022-1503
Volume: 109
Pagina's: 347 - 359
Jaar van publicatie:2018
Trefwoorden:Genetica en ontwikkelingsbiologie