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The geography and timing of genetic divergence in the lizard Phrynocephalus theobaldi on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau.

Jin, Y and Liu, N and Brown, RP (2017) The geography and timing of genetic divergence in the lizard Phrynocephalus theobaldi on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. Scientific Reports, 7 (1). ISSN 2045-2322

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Abstract

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) represents one of the earth's most significant physical features and there is increasing interest in the historical generation of biodiversity within this region. We hypothesized that there should be clear geographically coherent genetic structuring within one of the world's highest altitude lizards, Phrynocephalus theobaldi, due to considerable historical population fragmentation in this environment. This was tested using a major mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) survey and sequencing of two nuclear markers (AME and RAG-1) from P. theobaldi, from across the southern QTP. A Bayesian method (BPEC) was used to detect four geographically structured mtDNA clusters. A Bayesian phylogenetic tree, together with associated dating analyses, supported four corresponding evolutionary lineages with a timing of 3.74-7.03 Ma for the most basal P. theobaldi split and Pliocene splits of 2.97-5.79 Ma and 2.40-5.39 Ma in the two daughter lineages. Himalayan uplift and changes in the Jilong basin may have contributed to these divergences, but uplift of the Gangdese mountains is rejected due to its timing. The nuclear markers appeared to be sorted between the four mtDNA groups, and species delimitation analyses supported the four phylogeographical groups as candidate species. The study contributes to our understanding of biodiversity on the QTP.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
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Date Deposited: 30 May 2017 10:51
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2017 03:19
DOI or Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-017-02674-4
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6599

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