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Syst Biol. 2018 Mar 1;67(2):236-249. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syx070.

Conflicting Evolutionary Histories of the Mitochondrial and Nuclear Genomes in New World Myotis Bats.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, 2901 Main St, Lubbock, TX, USA.
Department of Biological Sciences and Museum of Natural Science, Louisiana State University, 202 Life Science Building, Baton Rouge, LA, USA.
Department of Environmental Health Science, University of Georgia, 206 Environmental Health Sciences Building, Athens, GA, USA.
Department of Biology, Abilene Christian University, 1600 Campus Ct. Abilene, TX, USA.
Natural Resource Management, Texas Tech University, 2901 Main St, Lubbock, TX, USA.


The rapid diversification of Myotis bats into more than 100 species is one of the most extensive mammalian radiations available for study. Efforts to understand relationships within Myotis have primarily utilized mitochondrial markers and trees inferred from nuclear markers lacked resolution. Our current understanding of relationships within Myotis is therefore biased towards a set of phylogenetic markers that may not reflect the history of the nuclear genome. To resolve this, we sequenced the full mitochondrial genomes of 37 representative Myotis, primarily from the New World, in conjunction with targeted sequencing of 3648 ultraconserved elements (UCEs). We inferred the phylogeny and explored the effects of concatenation and summary phylogenetic methods, as well as combinations of markers based on informativeness or levels of missing data, on our results. Of the 294 phylogenies generated from the nuclear UCE data, all are significantly different from phylogenies inferred using mitochondrial genomes. Even within the nuclear data, quartet frequencies indicate that around half of all UCE loci conflict with the estimated species tree. Several factors can drive such conflict, including incomplete lineage sorting, introgressive hybridization, or even phylogenetic error. Despite the degree of discordance between nuclear UCE loci and the mitochondrial genome and among UCE loci themselves, the most common nuclear topology is recovered in one quarter of all analyses with strong nodal support. Based on these results, we re-examine the evolutionary history of Myotis to better understand the phenomena driving their unique nuclear, mitochondrial, and biogeographic histories.

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