Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2006 Mar;38(3):779-93. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Mitochondrial phylogeny of African wood mice, genus Hylomyscus (Rodentia, Muridae): implications for their taxonomy and biogeography.

Author information

MNHN, Département de Systématique et Evolution, UMR 5202, Laboratoire Mammifères et Oiseaux, 55 rue Buffon, 75005 Paris, France.


This paper investigates the usefulness of two mitochondrial genes (16S rRNA and cytochrome b) to solve taxonomical difficulties within the genus Hylomyscus and to infer its evolutionary history. Both genes proved to be suitable molecular markers for diagnosis of Hylomyscus species. Nevertheless the resolving powers of these two genes differ, and with both markers (either analyzed singly or in combination), some nodes remain unresolved. This is probably related to the fact that the species emerged during a rapid diversification event that occurred 2-6 Myr ago (4-5 Myr ago for most divergence events). Our molecular data support the recognition of an "aeta" group, while the "alleni" and "parvus" groups are not fully supported. Based on tree topology and genetic divergence, two taxa generally recognized as subspecies should be elevated at the species level (H. simus and H. cf kaimosae). H. stella populations exhibit ancient haplotype segregation that may represent currently unrecognized allopatric species. The existence of cryptic species within H. parvus is questioned. Finally, three potentially new species may occur in West Central Africa. The Congo and Oubangui Rivers, as well as the Volta and Niger Rivers and/or the Dahomey gap could have formed effective barriers to Hylomyscus species dispersal, favoring their speciation in allopatry. The pronounced shifts in African climate during the late Pliocene and Miocene, which resulted in major changes in the distribution and composition of the vegetation, could have promoted speciation within the genus (refuge theory). Future reports should focus on the geographic distribution of Hylomyscus species in order to get a better understanding of the evolutionary history of the genus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center