DNA sequencing reveals unexpected Recent diversity and an ancient dichotomy in the American marsupial genus Marmosops (Didelphidae: Thylamyini)

Juan F. Díaz-Nieto, Sharon A Jansa, Robert S. Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

To assess species-level diversity in the didelphid marsupial genus Marmosops, we obtained sequence data from the mitochondrial cytochrome b (CYTB) gene from >200 specimens, including exemplars of every currently recognized species together with multiple specimens of all geographically widespread forms. Analyses of these data using the general mixed Yule coalescent (GMYC) model suggest that the genus could be twice as speciose as currently recognized, but putative species identified by the GMYC criterion require careful evaluation using other data. To assess phylogenetic relationships within Marmosops, we additionally sequenced a large fragment of the breast cancer activating 1 (BRCA1) gene from one specimen each of the putative species identified by the GMYC analyses of CYTB. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of a concatenated gene (CYTB+BRCA1) matrix revealed a basal dichotomy between two ancient, morphologically diagnosable clades with apparently distinct distributions and adaptive phenotypes. We describe those clades as subgenera and assign 12 nominal taxa to Sciophanes subgen. nov. (with type species Marmosops parvidens) and 27 nominal taxa to the nominotypical subgenus (with type species Marmosops incanus).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)914-940
Number of pages27
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume176
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • BRCA1
  • Cytochrome b
  • Didelphimorphia
  • GMYC
  • Species delimitation
  • Taxonomy

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