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Performance of 18S rRNA in littorinid Phylogeny (Gastropoda : Caenogastropoda)
Winnepenninckx, B.M.H.; Reid, D.G.; Backeljau, T. (1998). Performance of 18S rRNA in littorinid Phylogeny (Gastropoda : Caenogastropoda). J. Mol. Evol. 47(5): 586-596
In: Journal of Molecular Evolution. Springer-Verlag: New York. ISSN 0022-2844, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Winnepenninckx, B.M.H., more
  • Reid, D.G.
  • Backeljau, T., more

    In the past, 18S rRNA sequences have proved to be very useful for tracing ancient divergences but were rarely used for resolving more recent ones. Moreover, it was suggested that the molecule does not contain useful information to resolve divergences which took place during less than 40 Myr. The present paper takes littorinid phylogeny as a case study to reevaluate the utility of the molecule for resolving recent divergences. Two data sets for nine species of the snail family Littorinidae were analyzed, both separately and combined. One data set comprised 7 new complete 18S rRNA sequences aligned with 2 published littorinid sequences; the other comprised 12 morphological, 1 biochemical, and 2 18S rRNA secondary structure characters. On the basis of its ability to confirm generally accepted relationships and the congruence of results derived from the different data sets, it is concluded that 18S rRNA sequences do contain information to resolve "rapid" cladogenetic events, provided that they occurred in the not too distant past. 18S rRNA sequences yielded support for (1) the branching order (L. littorea, (L. obtusata, (L. saxatilis, L. compressa))) and (2) the basal position of L. striata in the Littorina clade.

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