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J Mol Evol. 1997 Oct;45(4):424-36.

Determination of the evolutionary relationships in Rattus sensu lato (Rodentia : Muridae) using L1 (LINE-1) amplification events.

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Section on Genomic Structure and Function, NIDDK, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20892-0830, USA.


We determined approximately 215 bp of DNA sequence from the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of 240 cloned L1 (LINE-1) elements isolated from 22 species of Rattus sensu lato and Rattus sensu stricto murine rodents. The sequences were sorted into different L1 subfamilies, and oligonucleotides cognate to them were hybridized to genomic DNA of various taxa. From the distribution of the L1 subfamilies in the various species, we inferred the partial phylogeny of Rattus sensu lato. The four Maxomys species comprise a well-defined clade separate from a monophyletic cluster that contains the two Leopoldamys and four Niviventer species. The Niviventer/Leopoldamys clade, in turn, shares a node with the clade that contains Berylmys, Sundamys, Bandicota, and Rattus sensu stricto. The evolutionary relationships that we deduced agree with and significantly extend the phylogeny of Rattus sensu lato established by other molecular criteria. Furthermore, the L1 amplification events scored here produced a unique phylogenetic tree, that is, in no case did a character (a given L1 amplification event) appear on more than one branch. The lack of homoplasy found in this study supports the robustness of L1 amplification events as phylogenetic markers for the study of mammalian evolution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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