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Kirsch J.A.W.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Gauthier O.,University Of Montral | Gauthier O.,University of Western Brittany | Campeau-Ploquin A.,University Of Montral | And 2 more authors.
Australian Mammalogy | Year: 2010

Phylogenetic relationships among rock-wallabies, Petrogale (Marsupialia: Macropodidae), have proven difficult to resolve. Given the documented interspecific hybridisation in the wild and the ease with which hybrids can be bred in captivity, introgression and hybrid speciation are likely explanations for these difficulties. In this paper, an attempt is made at using a phylogenetic approach to identify Petrogale hybrids of known origin. The Hybrid Detection Criterion (HDC) test is applied to DNADNA hybridisation data for 15 full species, two natural yard-bred hybrids, and two artificial hybrids from the same pairs of parental species. While the yard-bred hybrids elude detection with this technique, the artificial hybrids, consisting of equimolar mixture of parental extracts, are easily identified. Moreover, splitsgraphs constructed from five pairs of natural and artificial hybrids, including those evaluated with HDC, and their parents show that, in all cases but one, these two kinds of hybrids do not group together. Because the HDC assumes an intermediate phylogenetic position of the hybrid between its postulated parents, it is likely that unequal crossing-over, or another recombination event, affects the results of the test. These conclusions cast some doubt on the possibility of accurately detecting Petrogale hybrids with a phylogenetic approach. © Australian Mammal Society 2010.

Fujita M.K.,University of California at Berkeley | McGuire J.A.,University of California at Berkeley | Donnellan S.C.,Evolutionary Biology Unit | Moritz C.,University of California at Berkeley
Evolution | Year: 2010

Late Neogene aridification in the Southern Hemisphere caused contractions of mesic biota to refugia, similar to the patterns established by glaciation in the Northern Hemisphere, but these episodes also opened up new adaptive zones that spurred range expansion and diversification in arid-adapted lineages. To understand these dynamics, we present a multilocus (nine nuclear introns, one mitochondrial gene) phylogeographic analysis of the Bynoe's gecko (Heteronotia binoei), a widely distributed complex spanning the tropical monsoon, coastal woodland, and arid zone biomes in Australia. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses, estimates of divergence times, and demographic inferences revealed episodes of diversification in the Pliocene, especially in the tropical monsoon biome, and range expansions in the Pleistocene. Ancestral habitat reconstructions strongly support recent and independent invasions into the arid zone. Our study demonstrates the varied responses to aridification in Australia, including localized persistence of lineages in the tropical monsoonal biome, and repeated invasion of and expansion through newly available arid-zone habitats. These patterns are consistent with those found in other arid environments in the Southern Hemisphere, including the South African succulent karoo and the Chilean lowlands, and highlight the diverse modes of diversification and persistence of Earth's biota during the glacial cycles of the Pliocene and Pleistocene. © 2010 The Author(s). Journal compilation © 2010 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

Rehan S.M.,University of New Hampshire | Leys R.,University of South Australia | Leys R.,Evolutionary Biology Unit | Leys R.,University of Adelaide | Schwarz M.P.,University of South Australia
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Bees and eudicot plants both arose in the mid-late Cretaceous, and their co-evolutionary relationships have often been assumed as an important element in the rise of flowering plants. Given the near-complete dependence of bees on eudicots we would expect that major extinction events affecting the latter would have also impacted bees. However, given the very patchy distribution of bees in the fossil record, identifying any such extinctions using fossils is very problematic. Here we use molecular phylogenetic analyses to show that one bee group, the Xylocopinae, originated in the mid-Cretaceous, coinciding with the early radiation of the eudicots. Lineage through time analyses for this bee subfamily show very early diversification, followed by a long period of seemingly no radiation and then followed by rapid diversification in each of the four constituent tribes. These patterns are consistent with both a long-fuse model of radiation and a massive extinction event close to the K-T boundary. We argue that massive extinction is much more plausible than a long fuse, given the historical biogeography of these bees and the diversity of ecological niches that they occupy. Our results suggest that events near the K-T boundary would have disrupted many plant-bee relationships, with major consequences for the subsequent evolution of eudicots and their pollinators. © 2013 Rehan et al.

Motta C.M.,Evolutionary Biology Unit | Frezza V.,Evolutionary Biology Unit | Simoniello P.,Evolutionary Biology Unit
Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology | Year: 2013

The presence and localization of caspase 3, a master enzyme in apoptosis, have been analyzed in tissues of four species of Molluscs: the Bivalves Callista chione and Adamussium colbecki and the Gastropods Helix pomatia and Neobuccinum eatoni. Western blotting and immunocytochemical analyses show that a 32kDa caspase 3 is present in guts, in gill lamellae and in digestive glands during digestion but not in heart tissue or in resting digestive glands. The enzyme is also found in gonads of both sexes but there are significant differences between Bivalves and Gastropods and between male and female germ cells, especially in late stages of differentiation. In particular, caspase 3 is abundant in Bivalves oocytes and in Gastropods spermatozoa but not in Gastropods oocytes; in Callista spermatozoa it appears only after sea water activation. TUNEL staining and PCNA immunolocalization, carried out on C. chione and H. pomatia tissues, suggest that caspase 3 is primarily associated with degenerative processes in gut, digestive gland and early stage germ cells while in gills, oocytes and mature spermatozoa it is primarily correlated with cell function and/or differentiation. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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