Phylogenetic relationships of the heath dragons (Rankinia adelaidensis and R. parviceps) from the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot

Melville, Jane, Shoo, Luke P., and Doughty, Paul (2008) Phylogenetic relationships of the heath dragons (Rankinia adelaidensis and R. parviceps) from the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot. Australian Journal of Zoology, 56 (3). pp. 159-171.

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Abstract

Although the south-western Australian region is recognised as a global biodiversity hotspot, there are still significant gaps in our understanding of the biodiversity of this region. We present a phylogenetic study of the heath dragons (Rankinia adelaidensis and R. parviceps) from this region, incorporating a 1612-bp section of mtDNA and two nuclear introns, Gapdh (~244 bp) and Enol (~330 bp). In addition, we present a generic-level analysis of three gene regions (mtDNA, Gapdh, BDNF), which provides clear evidence that Rankinia adelaidensis and R. parviceps are not closely related to Rankinia diemensis from eastern Australia. Instead, the heath dragons are strongly supported as forming a clade with the genus Ctenophorus. In addition, we find that there are significant levels of haplotype divergence between currently recognised subspecies of the heath dragons (R. a. adelaidensis, R. a. chapmani, R. p. parviceps, R. p. butleri). We suggest that the genetic divergences between subspecies result from geographic isolation in allopatry owing to habitat preferences, followed by drift and/or selection. On the basis of these deep divergences and consistent morphological differences between subspecies, we recommend elevating all taxa to full species, and provide a taxonomic revision of the genera Rankinia and Ctenophorus.

Item ID: 5960
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1446-5698
Keywords: phylogeography; taxonomy; biodiversity hotspot
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2010 04:41
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0604 Genetics > 060411 Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060399 Evolutionary Biology not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 100%
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