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Phylogenetic relationships of glassfrogs (Centrolenidae) based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Evolution, Genomics and Systematics. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Biology, Department of Ecology and Genetics, Evolutionary Biology.
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2008 (English)In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, E-ISSN 1095-9513, Vol. 48, no 2, 574-595 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Glassfrogs (family Centrolenidae) represent an exceptionally diverse group among Neotropical anurans, but their evolutionary relationships never have been assessed from a molecular perspective. Mitochondrial and nuclear markers were used to develop a novel hypothesis of centrolenid phylogeny. Ingroup sampling included 100 terminals, with 78 (53%) of the named species in the family, representing most of the phenotypic diversity described for the group. Thirty-five species representing taxa traditionally associated with glassfrogs were used as outgroups. Gene sampling consisted of complete or partial sequences of three mitochondrial (12S, 16S, ND1) and three nuclear markers (c-myc exon 2, RAG1, POMC) for a total of ∼4362 bp. Phylogenies were estimated using maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses for individual genes and combined datasets. The separate analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear datasets allowed us to clarify the relationships within glassfrogs; also, we corroborate the sister-group relationship between Allophryne ruthveni and glassfrogs. The new phylogeny differs significantly from all previous morphology-based hypotheses of relationships, and shows that hypotheses based on few traits are likely to misrepresent evolutionary history. Traits previously hypothesized as unambiguous synapomorphies are shown to be homoplastic, and all genera in the current taxonomy (Centrolene, Cochranella, Hyalinobatrachium, Nymphargus) are found to be poly- or paraphyletic. The new topology implies a South American origin of glassfrogs and reveals allopatric speciation as the most important speciation mechanism. The phylogeny profoundly affects the traditional interpretations of glassfrog taxonomy, character evolution, and biogeography-topics that now require more extensive evaluation in future studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 48, no 2, 574-595 p.
Keyword [en]
Anura, Biogeography, Centrolenidae, Evolution, Homoplasy, Monophyly, Neotropics, Phylogeny, Speciation
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-100914DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.04.012ISI: 000258556100016PubMedID: 18515151OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-100914DiVA: diva2:211266
Available from: 2009-04-13 Created: 2009-04-13 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Species Limits, and Evolutionary History of Glassfrogs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Species Limits, and Evolutionary History of Glassfrogs
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Recognizing the mechanisms of speciation and the limits of species is essential to understand the origin of biodiversity and how to conserve it. The general aims of my investigations during my doctoral studies were two-fold: to study evolutionary patterns and processes, and to provide specific and superspecific taxonomic classifications that try to reflect evolutionary history. I have focused my research on anurans in their biodiversity hotspot, the American Tropics.

I have used morphological, behavioral (mating calls), and genetic (DNA sequences) characters to study species boundaries between frogs of the genus Pristimantis and the family Centrolenidae (glassfrogs). The results show that the exclusive use of single lines of evidence or the application of arbitrary thresholds impair and bias our ability to recognize new species and limit the possibility to understand evolutionary processes. Only an integrative approach combining every source of evidence provides the necessary feedback to discover all species and test their identity by comparing independent sets of data. This approach further allows identifying those species that probably represent stable comparative units (well supported species hypotheses) and to flag taxa that require further assessment.

Phylogenetic reconstructions based on seven nuclear and mitochondrial genes for about 100 species of glassfrogs revealed that previous hypotheses of relationships were mislead by rampant convergent evolution at the phenotypic level. None of the previously suggested classifications fit with the reconstructed evolutionary history. Consequently, we proposed a new classification consistent with this phylogeny.

I also studied the tempo and mode of diversification among glassfrogs. Based on sequences from ten genes in 87 species, I estimated species divergence times, age-range correlation between sister species, and reconstructed ancestral areas and dispersal/vicariance events. The results revealed a complex model of diversification where geographical isolation seems to be the dominant scenario for speciation and only clades of altitudinal generalists have been able to spread across the Neotropical rainforests.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2009. 55 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 642
Amphibia, Anura, Biogeography, Centrolenidae, Diversification, Frogs, Molecular Phylogenetics, Neotropics, Pristimantis, Speciation, Species, Systematics, Taxonomy
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Systematic Zoology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-100923 (URN)978-91-554-7515-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-26, Zootissalen, EBC, Villavägen 9, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2009-05-05 Created: 2009-04-13 Last updated: 2009-05-28Bibliographically approved

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