Research Summary: Chronology of Deep Nodes in the Neotropical Primate Phylogeny: Insights from Mitochondrial Genomes


The evolution of Neotropical Primates (NP) is permeated by factors associated with the pattern of diversification and the biogeography of the major lineages. These questions can be better understood by providing a robust estimate of the chronological scenario of NP evolution, a reason why molecular dating methods have been widely applied. One aspect of especial interest is the timing of diversification of the major NP lineages (pitheciids, atelids and cebids), which may have resulted from rapid episodes of adaptive radiation, a question that requires NP divergence time estimates with accurate statistical certainty. In this study, we evaluated the primate timescale focused on the age of nodes of NP radiation. We investigated the performance of complete primate mitochondrial genomes as traditional molecular markers of primate evolution and further including original mitochondrial data from the endangered muriqui, Brachyteles arachnoides (Accession No. JX262672). Comparisons of the age estimates at NP nodes based on mitochondrial genomes with those obtained from a nuclear supermatrix showed similar degrees of uncertainty. Further molecular data and more informative calibration priors are required for a more precise understanding of the early NP diversification.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 14-December-2012

Author(s): Schrago C., Menezes A., Moreira M., Pissinatti A., Seuánez H.


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