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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 Apr;31(1):256-76.

Phylogeny of muroid rodents: relationships within and among major lineages as determined by IRBP gene sequences.

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Bell Museum of Natural History and Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, USA.


The rodent family Muridae is the single most diverse family of mammals with over 1300 recognized species. We used DNA sequences from the first exon ( approximately 1200bp) of the IRBP gene to infer phylogenetic relationships within and among the major lineages of muroid rodents. We included sequences from every recognized muroid subfamily except Platacanthomyinae and from all genera within the endemic Malagasy subfamily Nesomyinae, all recognized tribes of Sigmodontinae, and a broad sample of genera in Murinae. Phylogenetic analysis of the IRBP data suggest that muroid rodents can be sorted into five major lineages: (1) a basal clade containing the fossorial rodents in the subfamilies Spalacinae, Myospalacinae, and Rhizomyinae, (2) a clade of African and Malagasy genera comprising the subfamilies Petromyscinae, Mystromyinae, Cricetomyinae, Nesomyinae, and core dendromurines, (3) a clade of Old World taxa belonging to Murinae, Otomyinae, Gerbillinae, Acomyinae, and Lophiomyinae, (4) a clade uniting the subfamilies Sigmodontinae, Arvicolinae, and Cricetinae, and (5) a unique lineage containing the monotypic Calomyscinae. Although relationships among the latter four clades cannot be resolved, several well-supported supergeneric groupings within each are identified. A preliminary examination of molar tooth morphology on the resulting phylogeny suggests the triserial murid molar pattern as conceived by evolved at least three times during the course of muroid evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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