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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008 Nov;49(2):669-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.08.007. Epub 2008 Aug 19.

Cytochrome b sequence data suggest rapid speciation within the Paramecium aurelia species complex.

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Molecular Evolution and Animal Systematics, Institute of Biology II, University of Leipzig, Talstr. 33, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


We investigated mitochondrial Cytochrome b sequences from all 15 members of the enigmatic Paramecium aurelia species complex (Ciliophora). The analysis revealed high genetic distances between the different P. aurelia species (6.1-19.8%) and a largely unresolved, star-like phylogenetic tree. This result strongly supports a rapid radiation in the evolutionary history of this species complex and it correlates well with the hypothesis that the extant species diversity may have originated from the neutral consequences of a whole genome duplication in the common ancestor of P. aurelia.

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