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Mol Biol Evol. 1994 Jul;11(4):593-604.

Phylogenetic place of guinea pigs: no support of the rodent-polyphyly hypothesis from maximum-likelihood analyses of multiple protein sequences.

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Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo, Japan.


Graur et al.'s (1991) hypothesis that the guinea pig-like rodents have an evolutionary origin within mammals that is separate from that of other rodents (the rodent-polyphyly hypothesis) was reexamined by the maximum-likelihood method for protein phylogeny, as well as by the maximum-parsimony and neighbor-joining methods. The overall evidence does not support Graur et al.'s hypothesis, which radically contradicts the traditional view of rodent monophyly. This work demonstrates that we must be careful in choosing a proper method for phylogenetic inference and that an argument based on a small data set (with respect to the length of the sequence and especially the number of species) may be unstable.

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