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      Phylogenetic relationships amongst the snake-eyed lizards of the genus Ablepharus Fitzinger, 1823 (Sauria, Scincidae) in the Iranian Plateau based on mtDNA sequences

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      Herpetozoa

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          We recovered molecular phylogenetic relationships amongst species of the genus Ablepharus in Iran and Iraq. Partial sequences of three mitochondrial genes (cytochrome C oxidase subunit I – COI, 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA) were analysed. In addition, phylogenetic relationships and taxonomic evaluation of Ablepharus species in Cyprus, India, Greece, Turkey and Syria were performed using partial sequences of the 16S rRNA gene. Phylogenetic trees and estimated genetic distances showed that the Ablepharus populations of Iran and Iraq clustered into three distinct clades. One is found in northwest Iran (A. bivittatus in Ardabil, East and West Azerbaijan and Hamedan Provinces). The second clade, formed by A. chernovi, is found only in Uromia. The third and most heterogeneous clade is divided into two subclades, the first includes two lineages of Ablepharus in Khorasan Razavi and Semnan Provinces (A. pannonicus) and in eastern and south-eastern Iran (A. grayanus); the second subclade is distributed in the eastern part of Iraq and west and south-western Iran (Ablepharus sp.). Our analyses indicated that splitting of A. chernovi within the genus occurred in the early Miocene [about 22.5 million years ago (Mya)]. Ablepharus bivittatus diverged 15.2 Mya, in the middle Miocene. Ablepharus pannonicus diverged in the late Miocene (8.4 Mya) and A. grayanus separated in the late Miocene (6.7 Mya). The lineages of eastern Iraq and south-western Iran (Ablepharus sp.) diverged also in the late Miocene (7.0 Mya).

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          MEGA6: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 6.0.

          We announce the release of an advanced version of the Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis (MEGA) software, which currently contains facilities for building sequence alignments, inferring phylogenetic histories, and conducting molecular evolutionary analysis. In version 6.0, MEGA now enables the inference of timetrees, as it implements the RelTime method for estimating divergence times for all branching points in a phylogeny. A new Timetree Wizard in MEGA6 facilitates this timetree inference by providing a graphical user interface (GUI) to specify the phylogeny and calibration constraints step-by-step. This version also contains enhanced algorithms to search for the optimal trees under evolutionary criteria and implements a more advanced memory management that can double the size of sequence data sets to which MEGA can be applied. Both GUI and command-line versions of MEGA6 can be downloaded from www.megasoftware.net free of charge.
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            CLUSTAL W: improving the sensitivity of progressive multiple sequence alignment through sequence weighting, position-specific gap penalties and weight matrix choice

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              A simple method for estimating evolutionary rates of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences.

               Motoo Kimura (1980)
              Some simple formulae were obtained which enable us to estimate evolutionary distances in terms of the number of nucleotide substitutions (and, also, the evolutionary rates when the divergence times are known). In comparing a pair of nucleotide sequences, we distinguish two types of differences; if homologous sites are occupied by different nucleotide bases but both are purines or both pyrimidines, the difference is called type I (or "transition" type), while, if one of the two is a purine and the other is a pyrimidine, the difference is called type II (or "transversion" type). Letting P and Q be respectively the fractions of nucleotide sites showing type I and type II differences between two sequences compared, then the evolutionary distance per site is K = -(1/2) ln [(1-2P-Q) square root of 1-2Q]. The evolutionary rate per year is then given by k = K/(2T), where T is the time since the divergence of the two sequences. If only the third codon positions are compared, the synonymous component of the evolutionary base substitutions per site is estimated by K'S = -(1/2) ln (1-2P-Q). Also, formulae for standard errors were obtained. Some examples were worked out using reported globin sequences to show that synonymous substitutions occur at much higher rates than amino acid-altering substitutions in evolution.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Herpetozoa
                Herpetozoa
                Pensoft Publishers
                2682-955X
                1013-4425
                September 15 2021
                September 15 2021
                : 34
                : 183-194
                Article
                10.3897/herpetozoa.34.e66338
                © 2021

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