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Homoplasious colony morphology and mito-nuclear phylogenetic discordance among Eastern Pacific octocorals
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Paleontology and Geobiology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universtität München.
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2016 (English)In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, E-ISSN 1095-9513, Vol. 98, 373-381 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Octocorals are a diverse and ecologically important group of cnidarians. However, the phylogenetic relationships of many octocoral groups are not well understood and are based mostly on mitochondrial sequence data. In addition, the discovery and description of new gorgonian species displaying unusual or intermediate morphologies and uncertain phylogenetic affinities further complicates the study of octocoral systematics and raises questions about the role played by processes such as plasticity, crypsis, and convergence in the evolution of this group of organisms. Here, we use nuclear (i.e. 28S rDNA) and mitochondrial (mtMutS) markers and a sample of Eastern Pacific gorgonians thought to be remarkable from a morphological point of view to shed light on the morphological diversification among these organisms. Our study reveals the loss of the anastomosed colony morphology in two unrelated lineages of the seafan genusPacifigorgia and offers strong evidence for the independent evolution of a whip-like morphology in two lineages of Eastern Pacific Leptogorgia. Additionally, our data revealed one instance of mito-nuclear discordance in the genera Leptogorgia andEugorgia, which may be the results of incomplete lineage sorting or ancient hybridization–introgression events. Our study stresses the importance of comprehensive taxonomic sampling and the use of independent sources of evidence to address the phylogenetic relationships and clarifying the evolution of octocorals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 98, 373-381 p.
Keyword [en]
Molecular systematics, Octocorals, Eastern Pacific, Mito-nuclear discordance, Colony morphology, Homoplasy
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Biology with specialization in Systematics
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-284082DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.02.023OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-284082DiVA: diva2:921588

This work is the result of a master project in the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany, as part of the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME).

Available from: 2016-04-20 Created: 2016-04-14 Last updated: 2016-05-27Bibliographically approved

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Ament-Velásquez, Sandra Lorena
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