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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 Mar;30(3):743-54.

Evolution, biogeography, and the utility of mitochondrial 16s and COI genes in phylogenetic analysis of the crab genus Austinixa (Decapoda: Pinnotheridae).

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Department of Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-3258, USA.


This study used molecular data (mitochondrial 16s and COI) for the first time to explore evolutionary relationships among species of the pinnotherid crab genus Austinixa. Low levels of phylogenetic signal were detected for COI. High levels of phylogenetic signal were detected for 16s, indicating it is a more useful marker for inferring species level phylogenies in Austinixa. Phylogeographic patterns among species of Austinixa are consistent with allopatric speciation due to numerous climatic and oceanographic fluctuations during the last 5-6 my. In addition, all but two species have been derived since the closure of the Isthmus of Panama, a pattern consistent with hypotheses that the marine biota of the Caribbean and southeastern North America underwent a pulse of biotic turnover within the last 2-3 my. Austinixa aidae and Austinixa hardyi had identical 16s sequences, and differed by only 2 bp in COI, raising questions about the validity of A. hardyi as a distinct species.

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