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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jun 11;99(12):8151-6. Epub 2002 May 28.

Mammalian mitogenomic relationships and the root of the eutherian tree.

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  • 1Division of Evolutionary Molecular Systematics, University of Lund, S-223 62 Lund, Sweden.


The strict orthology of mitochondrial (mt) coding sequences has promoted their use in phylogenetic analyses at different levels. Here we present the results of a mitogenomic study (i.e., analysis based on the set of protein-coding genes from complete mt genomes) of 60 mammalian species. This number includes 11 new mt genomes. The sampling comprises all but one of the traditional eutherian orders. The previously unrepresented order Dermoptera (flying lemurs) fell within Primates as the sister group of Anthropoidea, making Primates paraphyletic. This relationship was strongly supported. Lipotyphla ("insectivores") split into three distinct lineages: Erinaceomorpha, Tenrecomorpha, and Soricomorpha. Erinaceomorpha was the basal eutherian lineage. Sirenia (dugong) and Macroscelidea (elephant shrew) fell within the African clade. Pholidota (pangolin) joined the Cetferungulata as the sister group of Carnivora. The analyses identified monophyletic Pinnipedia with Otariidae (sea lions, fur seals) and Odobenidae (walruses) as sister groups to the exclusion of Phocidae (true seals).

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