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Surviving the Messinian Salinity Crisis? Divergence patterns in the genus Dendropoma (Gastropoda: Vermetidae) in the Mediterranean Sea

AuthorsCalvo, Marta ; Alda, Fernando ; Oliverio, Marco; Templado, José ; Machordom, Annie
KeywordsCryptic species
Divergence times
Mediterranean Dendropoma
Messinian Crisis
Issue DateOct-2015
CitationMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 91: 17-26 (2015)
AbstractFour genetically distinct clades were recently described under the name Dendropoma petraeum, a Mediterranean endemic vermetid gastropod. The aim of this work is to date the processes that drove to the diversification within this taxon and to relate them to the corresponding historical events occurred in the Mediterranean Sea. Sequences from mitochondrial and nuclear markers were obtained from specimens collected in 29 localities spanning over 4000 km across the entire distribution range of D. petraeum species complex. The phylogenetic and coalescent-based analyses confirmed the four well-supported and largely differentiated lineages of D. petraeum, clearly delimited geographically along a west–east axis within the Mediterranean Sea: Western, Tyrrhenian–Sicilian, Ionian–Aegean and Levantine lineages. Divergence time estimates, obtained using a range of known substitution rates for other marine gastropods, indicated two main stages of diversification. In the first period (between 9.5 and 4.5 mya), the ancestral D. petraeum diverged into the current four lineages. The most recent period occurred between 3.72 and 0.66 mya in the late Pliocene–early Pleistocene, and included the main within-lineage diversification events. Therefore, if the divergence time between the major lineages of Dendropoma in the Mediterranean actually predated or coincided with the Messinian Salinity Crisis, then they should have survived to this dramatic period within the Mediterranean, as supported by Bayes Factors model comparison. Conversely, if the divergence started after the crisis, congruent with the idea that no true marine organism survived the Messinian Salinity Crisis, then our results indicate substitution rates of Dendropoma much higher than usual (5.16% per million years for COI, 3.04% for 16S). More recent climate changes seem to have conditioned the demographic history of each lineage differently. While Western and Tyrrhenian–Sicilian lineages both underwent an increase in their effective population sizes from 1.5 to 0.6 mya coinciding with a long interglacial period, the Ionian–Aegean and Levantine lineages showed constant effective population sizes since 2–2.5 mya, suggesting that these eastern lineages might represent small and relict populations surviving the subsequent Quaternary glaciations in isolated refugia.
DescriptionReceived 23 July 2014, Revised 3 March 2015, Accepted 7 May 2015, Available online 20 May 2015
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2015.05.004
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