[MARMAM] New Publication

Laura J. May-Collado laura.may_collado1 at fiu.edu
Fri Jan 13 16:11:19 PST 2006

New paper on Cetacean Phylogeny published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38 (2006) 344–354

Title: Cytochrome b and Bayesian inference of whale phylogeny

Authors: Laura May-Collado a,b,¤, Ingi Agnarsson c,d
a Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199, USA
b Esuela de Biologia, Universidad de Costa Rica, Apto. 2060, San Jose, Costa Rica, c The University of British Columbia, Departments of Zoology and Botany, 3529-6270 University Blvd., Vancouver, BC., Canada V6T 1Z4
d Systematic Biology-Entomology, E-530, Smithsonian Institution, NHB-105, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013-7012, USA

Received 31 March 2005; revised 30 August 2005; accepted 20 September 2005. Available online 1 December 2005

In the mid 1990s cytochrome b and other mitochondrial DNA data reinvigorated cetacean phylogenetics by proposing many novel and provocative hypotheses of cetacean relationships. These results sparked a revision and reanalysis of morphological datasets, and the
collection of new nuclear DNA data from numerous loci. Some of the most controversial mitochondrial hypotheses have now become benchmark clades, corroborated with nuclear DNA and morphological data; others have been resolved in favor of more traditional views. That major conXicts in cetacean phylogeny are disappearing is encouraging. However, most recent papers aim speciWcally to
resolve higher-level conXicts by adding characters, at the cost of densely sampling taxa to resolve lower-level relationships. No molecular study to date has included more than 33 cetaceans. More detailed molecular phylogenies will provide better tools for evolutionary studies. Until more genes are available for a high number of taxa, can we rely on readily available single gene mitochondrial data? Here, we estimate the phylogeny of 66 cetacean taxa and 24 outgroups based on Cytb sequences. We judge the reliability of our phylogeny based on
the recovery of several deep-level benchmark clades. A Bayesian phylogenetic analysis recovered all benchmark clades and for the time supported Odontoceti monophyly based exclusively on analysis of a single mitochondrial gene. The results recover the monophyly of all but one family level taxa within Cetacea, and most recently proposed super- and subfamilies. In contrast, parsimony never recovered all benchmark clades and was sensitive to a priori weighting decisions. These results provide the most detailed phylogeny of Cetacea to date and highlight the utility of both Bayesian methodology in general, and of Cytb in cetacean phylogenetics. They furthermore suggest
that dense taxon sampling, like dense character sampling, can overcome problems in phylogenetic reconstruction.

Laura May-Collado
WWF-Russell E. Train Scholar 
Department of Biological Sciences
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th St Miami, FL 33199
Marine Mammal Lab OE 257, 
Lab phone (305)348-7429
lmayc002 at fiu.edu

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