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Syst Biol. 2012 Jan;61(1):150-64. doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syr089. Epub 2011 Sep 7.

Phylogenomic analysis resolves the interordinal relationships and rapid diversification of the laurasiatherian mammals.

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Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Biodiversity and Biotechnology, College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210046, China.


Although great progress has been made in resolving the relationships of placental mammals, the position of several clades in Laurasiatheria remain controversial. In this study, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of 97 orthologs (46,152 bp) for 15 taxa, representing all laurasiatherian orders. Additionally, phylogenetic trees of laurasiatherian mammals with draft genome sequences were reconstructed based on 1608 exons (2,175,102 bp). Our reconstructions resolve the interordinal relationships within Laurasiatheria and corroborate the clades Scrotifera, Fereuungulata, and Cetartiodactyla. Furthermore, we tested alternative topologies within Laurasiatheria, and among alternatives for the phylogenetic position of Perissodactyla, a sister-group relationship with Cetartiodactyla receives the highest support. Thus, Pegasoferae (Perissodactyla + Carnivora + Pholidota + Chiroptera) does not appear to be a natural group. Divergence time estimates from these genes were compared with published estimates for splits within Laurasiatheria. Our estimates were similar to those of several studies and suggest that the divergences among these orders occurred within just a few million years.

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