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Molecular Phylogeny and Morphological Homoplasy in Fruitbats

AuthorsAlvarez, Yolanda ; Juste, Javier ; Tabares, Enrique; Garrido-Pertierra, Armando; Ibáñez, Carlos
morphological homoplasy
cytochrome b
16S rRNA
Issue DateAug-1999
PublisherOxford University Press
CitationMol. Biol. Evol. 16(8):1061–1067. 1999
AbstractThe present study evaluates the evolutionary framework of the Old World fruitbats based on the cytochrome b and 16S rRNA mitochondrial gene sequences from a wide range of taxa. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that morphology-based subfamilies and most suprageneric groups are nonnatural assemblages. They also support the existence of an endemic African clade of fruitbats. The discrepancy between the evolutionary relationships yielded by molecular and morphological data sets may be, at least in part, explained by the recurrent retention of primitive morphology (Rousettus-like) across different lineages. The maintenance of primitive characters in different groups of flying foxes, as well as morphological convergence in nectar-feeding bats and possibly also in short-muzzle bats, may have led to high levels of homoplasy, resulting in misleading taxonomic arrangements. This may be particularly so with respect to high taxonomic levels based on morphological characters.
Publisher version (URL)http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/content/16/8/1061.full.pdf+html
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