Inferring kangaroo phylogeny from incongruent nuclear and mitochondrial genes

Phillips, Matthew J., Haouchar, Dalal, Pratt, Ranae C., Gibb, Gillian, & Bunce, Michael (2013) Inferring kangaroo phylogeny from incongruent nuclear and mitochondrial genes. PLoS ONE, 8(2), pp. 1-12.

View at publisher (open access)


The marsupial genus Macropus includes three subgenera, the familiar large grazing kangaroos and wallaroos of M. (Macropus) and M. (Osphranter), as well as the smaller mixed grazing/browsing wallabies of M. (Notamacropus). A recent study of five concatenated nuclear genes recommended subsuming the predominantly browsing Wallabia bicolor (swamp wallaby) into Macropus. To further examine this proposal we sequenced partial mitochondrial genomes for kangaroos and wallabies. These sequences strongly favour the morphological placement of W. bicolor as sister to Macropus, although place M. irma (black-gloved wallaby) within M. (Osphranter) rather than as expected, with M. (Notamacropus). Species tree estimation from separately analysed mitochondrial and nuclear genes favours retaining Macropus and Wallabia as separate genera. A simulation study finds that incomplete lineage sorting among nuclear genes is a plausible explanation for incongruence with the mitochondrial placement of W. bicolor, while mitochondrial introgression from a wallaroo into M. irma is the deepest such event identified in marsupials. Similar such coalescent simulations for interpreting gene tree conflicts will increase in both relevance and statistical power as species-level phylogenetics enters the genomic age. Ecological considerations in turn, hint at a role for selection in accelerating the fixation of introgressed or incompletely sorted loci. More generally the inclusion of the mitochondrial sequences substantially enhanced phylogenetic resolution. However, we caution that the evolutionary dynamics that enhance mitochondria as speciation indicators in the presence of incomplete lineage sorting may also render them especially susceptible to introgression.

Impact and interest:

9 citations in Scopus
8 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

4 since deposited on 10 May 2013
4 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 59861
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057745
ISSN: 1932-6203
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Phillips et al.
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 10 May 2013 02:36
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2016 04:11

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page