Molecular evidence for the polyphyly of the genus Hemitragus (Mammalia, Bovidae)

Ropiquet, Anne ORCID logoORCID: and Hassanin, Alexandre (2005) Molecular evidence for the polyphyly of the genus Hemitragus (Mammalia, Bovidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 36 (1) . pp. 154-168. ISSN 1055-7903 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.01.002)


The genus Hemitragus includes three species of tahr distributed in distant geographical areas: the Himalayan tahr, H. jemlahicus, occupies the southern flanks of the Himalaya Mountains; the Nilgiri tahr, H. hylocrius, is endemic to southern India; and the Arabian tahr, H. jayakari, is unique to the mountains of south-east Arabia. All previous investigations were based on morphology, and these three species together have never been included in a molecular phylogenetic study. In this study, we constructed a molecular phylogeny of the tribe Caprini sensu lato to determine the taxonomic status of the three species of tahr. Phylogenetic analyses were carried out on a matrix including most extant species currently described in the tribe Caprini sensu lato, and 3165 nucleotide characters, coming from four different markers, i.e., an intron of the nuclear gene coding for the protein kinase C iota, and three mitochondrial genes (subunit II of the cytochrome c oxidase, cytochrome b, and 12S rRNA). The results show that the genus Hemitragus is polyphyletic, as H. jemlahicus is associated with Capra (goats), H. hylocrius is the sister-group of Ovis (sheep), and H. jayakari is allied with Ammotragus lervia (aoudad). In the light of these unexpected results, we revaluate the validity of the morphological characters originally used for defining the genus Hemitragus. At least, we propose a new taxonomy, where the three species of tahr are ranged into three monospecific genera: the genus Hemitragus is restricted to the Himalayan tahr, and two new genera are created: Arabitragus for the Arabian tahr and Nilgiritragus for the Nilgiri tahr.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Original Research Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences > Molecular Biology group
Item ID: 15448
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Depositing User: Anne Ropiquet
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 13:29
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2018 09:33

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