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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2009 Dec;53(3):1049-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.09.003. Epub 2009 Sep 12.

Transthyretin gene (TTR) intron 1 elucidates crocodylian phylogenetic relationships.

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  • 1Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Dept of Cell Physiology and Molecular Biophysics, 3601 4th St MS 6551, Lubbock, TX 79430-6551, USA. raymond.willis@ttuhsc.edu

Abstract

Transthyretin (TTR) is an attractive candidate for use in phylogenetic analysis because it is a short, single-copy nuclear gene with regions that are highly conserved across evolutionarily-divergent organisms from Xenopus laevis to Homo sapiens. To explore its utility as a phylogenetic marker, the complete intron one region (789-805 bp) was sequenced in 22 crocodylian species. Detailed analyses of intron 1 resolved the three expected lineages, Alligatorids, Crocodylids, and Gavialids, and offered additional evidence for the utility of synapomorphic indels in elucidating higher-level phylogenetic relationships. When used in conjunction with other genetic and morphological data sets, intron 1 should be a valuable tool in the investigation of other closely related taxa.

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