Phylogenetic relationships of Indian caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) inferred from mitochondrial rRNA gene sequences

Wilkinson, M., Sheps, J.A., Oommen, O.V. and Cohen, B.L. (2002) Phylogenetic relationships of Indian caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) inferred from mitochondrial rRNA gene sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 23(3), pp. 401-407. (doi: 10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00031-3) (PMID:12099794)



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India has a diverse caecilian fauna, including representatives of three of the six currently recognized families, the Caeciliidae, Ichthyophiidae, the endemic Uraeotyphlidae, but previous molecular phylogenetic studies of caecilians have not included sequences for any Indian caecilians. Partial 12S and 16S mitochondrial gene sequences were obtained for a single representative of each of the caecilian families found in India and aligned against previously reported sequences for 13 caecilian species. The resulting alignment (16 taxa, 1200 sites, of which 288 cannot be aligned unambiguously) was analyzed using parsimony, maximum-likelihood, and distance methods. As judged by bootstrap proportions, decay indices, and leaf stabilities, well-supported relationships of the Indian caecilians are recovered from the alignment. The data (1) corroborate the hypothesis, based on morphology, that the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae are sister taxa, (2) recover a monophyletic Ichthyophiidae, including Indian and South East Asian representatives, and (3) place the Indian caeciliid Gegeneophis ramaswamii as the sister group of the caeciliid caecilians of the Seychelles. Rough estimates of divergence times suggest an origin of the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae while India was isolated from Laurasia and Africa and are most consistent with an Indian origin of these families and subsequent dispersal of ichthyophiids into South East Asia.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cohen, Dr Bernard
Authors: Wilkinson, M., Sheps, J.A., Oommen, O.V., and Cohen, B.L.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Journal Name:Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2002 Elsevier Science
First Published:First published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 23(3):401-407
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
95111Morphological and molecular systematics of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona)Mark WilkinsonNatural Environment Research Council (NERC)GST/02/832SCHOOL OF LIFE SCIENCES