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Mitochondrial phylogeny of Arvicolinae using comprehensive taxonomic sampling yields new insights

Buzan, Elena V.; Krystufek, Boris; Hänfling, Bernd; Hutchinson, William F.


Elena V. Buzan

Boris Krystufek

Bernd Hänfling

William F. Hutchinson


Comprehensive taxonomic sampling can vastly improve the accuracy of phylogenetic reconstruction. Here, we present the most inclusive phylogenetic analysis of Arvicolinae (Mammalia, Rodentia) to date, combining all published cytochrome b gene sequences of greater than 1097 bp and new sequences from two monotypic genera. Overall, the phylogenetic relationships between 69 species of voles and lemmings, representing 18 genera and 10 tribes, were studied. By applying powerful modern approaches to phylogenetic reconstruction, such as maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis, we provide new information on the early pulse of evolution within the Arvicolinae. While the position of two highly divergent lineages, Phenacomys and Ondatra, could not be resolved, the tribe Lemmini, appeared as the most basal group of voles. The collared lemmings (Dicrostonychini) grouped together with all of the remaining tribes. The two previously unstudied monotypic genera Dinaromys and Prometheomys form a moderately well-supported monophyletic clade, possibly a sister group to Ellobius (Ellobiusini). Furthermore, with one exception, all tribes (sensu Musser & Carleton, 2005) proved to be monophyletic and can thus be regarded as meaningful evolutionary entities. Only the tribe Arvicolini emerged as paraphyletic in both analyses because of the unresolved phylogenetic position of Arvicola terrestris. Steppe voles of the genus Lagurus were solidly supported as a sister group to the Microtus and allies clade.


Buzan, E. V., Krystufek, B., Hänfling, B., & Hutchinson, W. F. (2008). Mitochondrial phylogeny of Arvicolinae using comprehensive taxonomic sampling yields new insights. Biological journal of the Linnean Society, 94(4), 825-835.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 11, 2007
Online Publication Date Jul 25, 2008
Publication Date Aug 1, 2008
Print ISSN 0024-4066
Electronic ISSN 1095-8312
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 94
Issue 4
Pages 825-835
Keywords Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
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