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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2007 Mar;42(3):585-97. Epub 2006 Jul 14.

Molecular phylogeny of musk deer: a genomic view with mitochondrial 16S rRNA and cytochrome b gene.

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Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Kolkata, India.


The phylogenetic status of the infra order Pecora is controversial, even though it is supported by paleontological, morphological, and molecular evidence. We analyzed two mitochondrial genes (i.e., 16S rRNA and cytochrome b) to resolve the phylogenetic position of pecoran species, i.e., the Bovidae, Cervidae, and Moschidae endemic to the Indian subcontinent. We used phylogenetic analysis based on different algorithms, including neighbor joining, maximum parsimony, Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, minimum evolution, median joining network, along with multidimensional scaling, and DNA word analysis. Our results established the basal position of Tragulidae and the monophyly of the infra order Pecora within the Suborder Ruminantia. Our results also demonstrated that Bovidae, Cervidae, and Moschidae are allied with the placement of musk deer as more closely related to bovids than to cervids. Molecular dating based on sequence analysis shows that the radiation of Pecora occurred during the early Oligocene and that the majority of the pecoran families radiated and dispersed rapidly during the Oligocene/Miocene transition.

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