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      Geographic and temporal dynamics of a global radiation and diversification in the killer whale

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          The complete genome sequence of a Neandertal from the Altai Mountains

          We present a high-quality genome sequence of a Neandertal woman from Siberia. We show that her parents were related at the level of half siblings and that mating among close relatives was common among her recent ancestors. We also sequenced the genome of a Neandertal from the Caucasus to low coverage. An analysis of the relationships and population history of available archaic genomes and 25 present-day human genomes shows that several gene flow events occurred among Neandertals, Denisovans and early modern humans, possibly including gene flow into Denisovans from an unknown archaic group. Thus, interbreeding, albeit of low magnitude, occurred among many hominin groups in the Late Pleistocene. In addition, the high quality Neandertal genome allows us to establish a definitive list of substitutions that became fixed in modern humans after their separation from the ancestors of Neandertals and Denisovans.
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            Revisiting the insect mitochondrial molecular clock: the mid-Aegean trench calibration.

            Phylogenetic trees in insects are frequently dated by applying a "standard" mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) clock estimated at 2.3% My(-1), but despite its wide use reliable calibration points have been lacking. Here, we used a well-established biogeographic barrier, the mid-Aegean trench separating the western and eastern Aegean archipelago, to estimate substitution rates in tenebrionid beetles. Cytochrome oxidase I (cox1) for six codistributed genera across 28 islands (444 individuals) on both sides of the mid-Aegean trench revealed 60 independently coalescing entities delimited with a mixed Yule-coalescent model. One representative per entity was used for phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial (cox1, 16S rRNA) and nuclear (Mp20, 28S rRNA) genes. Six nodes marked geographically congruent east-west splits whose separation was largely contemporaneous and likely to reflect the formation of the mid-Aegean trench at 9-12 Mya. Based on these "known" dates, a divergence rate of 3.54% My(-1) for the cox1 gene (2.69% when combined with the 16S rRNA gene) was obtained under the preferred partitioning scheme and substitution model selected using Bayes factors. An extensive survey suggests that discrepancies in mtDNA substitution rates in the entomological literature can be attributed to the use of different substitution models, the use of different mitochondrial gene regions, mixing of intraspecific with interspecific data, and not accounting for variance in coalescent times or postseparation gene flow. Different treatments of these factors in the literature confound estimates of mtDNA substitution rates in opposing directions and obscure lineage-specific differences in rates when comparing data from various sources.
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              Time-dependent rates of molecular evolution.

              For over half a century, it has been known that the rate of morphological evolution appears to vary with the time frame of measurement. Rates of microevolutionary change, measured between successive generations, were found to be far higher than rates of macroevolutionary change inferred from the fossil record. More recently, it has been suggested that rates of molecular evolution are also time dependent, with the estimated rate depending on the timescale of measurement. This followed surprising observations that estimates of mutation rates, obtained in studies of pedigrees and laboratory mutation-accumulation lines, exceeded long-term substitution rates by an order of magnitude or more. Although a range of studies have provided evidence for such a pattern, the hypothesis remains relatively contentious. Furthermore, there is ongoing discussion about the factors that can cause molecular rate estimates to be dependent on time. Here we present an overview of our current understanding of time-dependent rates. We provide a summary of the evidence for time-dependent rates in animals, bacteria and viruses. We review the various biological and methodological factors that can cause rates to be time dependent, including the effects of natural selection, calibration errors, model misspecification and other artefacts. We also describe the challenges in calibrating estimates of molecular rates, particularly on the intermediate timescales that are critical for an accurate characterization of time-dependent rates. This has important consequences for the use of molecular-clock methods to estimate timescales of recent evolutionary events. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Molecular Ecology
                Mol Ecol
                Wiley-Blackwell
                09621083
                August 2015
                August 2015
                : 24
                : 15
                : 3964-3979
                Article
                10.1111/mec.13284
                26087773
                © 2015
                Product
                Self URI (article page): http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/mec.13284

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