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      Total evidence time-scaled phylogenetic and biogeographic models for the evolution of sea cows (Sirenia, Afrotheria)


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          Molecular phylogenetic studies that have included sirenians from the genera Trichechus, Dugong, and Hydrodamalis have resolved their interrelationships but have yielded divergence age estimates that are problematically discordant. The ages of these lineage splits have profound implications for how to interpret the sirenian fossil record—including clade membership, biogeographic patterns, and correlations with Earth history events. In an effort to address these issues, here we present a total evidence phylogenetic analysis of Sirenia that includes living and fossil species and applies Bayesian tip-dating methods to estimate their interrelationships and divergence times. In addition to extant sirenians, our dataset includes 56 fossil species from 106 dated localities and numerous afrotherian outgroup taxa. Genetic, morphological, temporal, and biogeographic data are assessed simultaneously to bring all available evidence to bear on sirenian phylogeny. The resulting time-tree is then used for Bayesian geocoordinates reconstruction analysis, which models ancestral geographic areas at splits throughout the phylogeny, thereby allowing us to infer the direction and timing of dispersals. Our results suggest that Pan-Sirenia arose in North Africa during the latest Paleocene and that the Eocene evolution of stem sirenians was primarily situated in the Tethyan realm. In the late Eocene, some lineages moved into more northern European latitudes, an area that became the source region for a key trans-Atlantic dispersal towards the Caribbean and northern-adjacent west Atlantic. This event led to the phylogenetic and biogeographic founding of crown Sirenia with the Dugongidae-Trichechidae split occurring at the Eocene-Oligocene boundary (~33.9 Ma), temporally coincident with the onset of dropping global sea levels and temperatures. This region became the nexus of sirenian diversification and supported taxonomically-rich dugongid communities until the earliest Pliocene. The Dugonginae-Hydrodamalinae split occurred near Florida during the early Miocene (~21.2 Ma) and was followed by a west-bound dispersal that gave rise to the Pacific hydrodamalines. The late middle Miocene (~12.2 Ma) split of Dugong from all other dugongines also occurred near Florida and our analyses suggest that the Indo-Pacific distribution of modern dugongs is the result of a trans-Pacific dispersal. From at least the early Miocene, trichechid evolution was based entirely in South America, presumably within the Pebas Wetlands System. We infer that the eventual establishment of Amazon drainage into the South Atlantic allowed the dispersal of Trichechus out of South America no earlier than the mid-Pliocene. Our analyses provide a new temporal and biogeographic framework for understanding major events in sirenian evolution and their possible relationships to oceanographic and climatic changes. These hypotheses can be further tested with the recovery and integration of new fossil evidence.

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          MrBayes 3.2: Efficient Bayesian Phylogenetic Inference and Model Choice Across a Large Model Space

          Since its introduction in 2001, MrBayes has grown in popularity as a software package for Bayesian phylogenetic inference using Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. With this note, we announce the release of version 3.2, a major upgrade to the latest official release presented in 2003. The new version provides convergence diagnostics and allows multiple analyses to be run in parallel with convergence progress monitored on the fly. The introduction of new proposals and automatic optimization of tuning parameters has improved convergence for many problems. The new version also sports significantly faster likelihood calculations through streaming single-instruction-multiple-data extensions (SSE) and support of the BEAGLE library, allowing likelihood calculations to be delegated to graphics processing units (GPUs) on compatible hardware. Speedup factors range from around 2 with SSE code to more than 50 with BEAGLE for codon problems. Checkpointing across all models allows long runs to be completed even when an analysis is prematurely terminated. New models include relaxed clocks, dating, model averaging across time-reversible substitution models, and support for hard, negative, and partial (backbone) tree constraints. Inference of species trees from gene trees is supported by full incorporation of the Bayesian estimation of species trees (BEST) algorithms. Marginal model likelihoods for Bayes factor tests can be estimated accurately across the entire model space using the stepping stone method. The new version provides more output options than previously, including samples of ancestral states, site rates, site d N /d S rations, branch rates, and node dates. A wide range of statistics on tree parameters can also be output for visualization in FigTree and compatible software.
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            Geneious Basic: An integrated and extendable desktop software platform for the organization and analysis of sequence data

            Summary: The two main functions of bioinformatics are the organization and analysis of biological data using computational resources. Geneious Basic has been designed to be an easy-to-use and flexible desktop software application framework for the organization and analysis of biological data, with a focus on molecular sequences and related data types. It integrates numerous industry-standard discovery analysis tools, with interactive visualizations to generate publication-ready images. One key contribution to researchers in the life sciences is the Geneious public application programming interface (API) that affords the ability to leverage the existing framework of the Geneious Basic software platform for virtually unlimited extension and customization. The result is an increase in the speed and quality of development of computation tools for the life sciences, due to the functionality and graphical user interface available to the developer through the public API. Geneious Basic represents an ideal platform for the bioinformatics community to leverage existing components and to integrate their own specific requirements for the discovery, analysis and visualization of biological data. Availability and implementation: Binaries and public API freely available for download at http://www.geneious.com/basic, implemented in Java and supported on Linux, Apple OSX and MS Windows. The software is also available from the Bio-Linux package repository at http://nebc.nerc.ac.uk/news/geneiousonbl. Contact: peter@biomatters.com
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              PartitionFinder 2: New Methods for Selecting Partitioned Models of Evolution for Molecular and Morphological Phylogenetic Analyses

              PartitionFinder 2 is a program for automatically selecting best-fit partitioning schemes and models of evolution for phylogenetic analyses. PartitionFinder 2 is substantially faster and more efficient than version 1, and incorporates many new methods and features. These include the ability to analyze morphological datasets, new methods to analyze genome-scale datasets, new output formats to facilitate interoperability with downstream software, and many new models of molecular evolution. PartitionFinder 2 is freely available under an open source license and works on Windows, OSX, and Linux operating systems. It can be downloaded from www.robertlanfear.com/partitionfinder. The source code is available at https://github.com/brettc/partitionfinder.

                Author and article information

                PeerJ Inc. (San Diego, USA )
                25 August 2022
                : 10
                : e13886
                [1 ]Duke Lemur Center Museum of Natural History, Duke University , Durham, NC, USA
                [2 ]Department of Integrative Anatomical Sciences, Keck School of Medicine of USC, University of Southern California , Los Angeles, CA, USA
                [3 ]Department of Mammalogy, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County , Los Angeles, CA, USA
                Author information
                © 2022 Heritage and Seiffert

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.

                : 27 May 2022
                : 21 July 2022
                The authors received no funding for this work.
                Evolutionary Studies
                Marine Biology

                sirenia,sea cows,manatees,dugongs,phylogenetics,bayesian tip-dating,historical biogeography,afrotheria,marine mammals,paleontology


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