The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Analysis of multi-locus sequence data indicates complex speciation in the evolutionary history of the Papionina


1Anthropology, Hunter College, City University of New York, 2Anthropology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 3Biology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 4NYCEP, New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology

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The Papionina is a well-studied subtribe of African monkeys whose evolutionary history is of particular interest because of its geographic and temporal parallels to hominin evolution. Nevertheless, relationships among several of its constituent genera (Lophocebus, Papio, and Theropithecus) remain unresolved. To address the different phylogenetic hypotheses for this group, we compiled a large (~56 kb) multilocus DNA sequence dataset that we phylogenetically analyzed using several methods including the multispecies coalescent and Bayesian concordance. These latter methods have been proposed to accurately estimate species trees in the presence of conflicting phylogenetic signal. Analyses of concatenated alignments recovered a Lophocebus-Papio clade with strong statistical support. However, Bayesian and parsimony analyses of individual genes revealed extremely high levels of gene tree discordance. The species tree generated by a Bayesian multispecies coalescent method supported a Lophocebus-Theropithecus clade, but with extremely low support values. Bayesian concordance analysis supported a Lophocebus-Papio clade, as in the concatenated analysis, but with low concordance factors indicating that only around a third of the genome is estimated to support this clade. This widespread incongruence—in spite of broad genomic sampling—has a number of potential causes including pervasive incomplete lineage sorting produced by rapid successive divergences and/or hybridization. We suggest that a fully-resolved, bifurcating species tree does not most appropriately reflect the evolutionary history of the Papionina. These results support the growing evidence cautioning against reliance on concatenation methods in phylogenetic analyses, as they may obscure our understanding of a group’s historical phylogenetic complexity.

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