Molecular phylogeny and morphometric analyses reveal deep divergence between Amazonia and Atlantic Forest species of Dendrophryniscus




Fouquet, Antoine
Recoder, Renato
Teixeira, Mauro
Cassimiro, Jose
Amaro, Renata Cecilia
Camacho, Agustin
Damasceno, Roberta
Carnaval, Ana Carolina
Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut
Moritz, Craig

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Academic Press


Dendrophryniscus is an early diverging clade of bufonids represented by few small-bodied species distributed in Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest. We used mitochondrial (414. bp of 12S, 575. bp of 16S genes) and nuclear DNA (785. bp of RAG-1) to investigate phylogenetic relationships and the timing of diversification within the genus. These molecular data were gathered from 23 specimens from 19 populations, including eight out of the 10 nominal species of the genus as well as Rhinella boulengeri. Analyses also included sequences of representatives of 18 other bufonid genera that were publically available. We also examined morphological characters to analyze differences within Dendrophryniscus. We found deep genetic divergence between an Amazonian and an Atlantic Forest clade, dating back to Eocene. Morphological data corroborate this distinction. We thus propose to assign the Amazonian species to a new genus, Amazonella. The species currently named R. boulengeri, which has been previously assigned to the genus Rhamphophryne, is shown to be closely related to Dendrophryniscus species. Our findings illustrate cryptic trends in bufonid morphological evolution, and point to a deep history of persistence and diversification within the Amazonian and Atlantic rainforests. We discuss our results in light of available paleoecological data and the biogeographic patterns observed in other similarly distributed groups.



Keywords: mitochondrial DNA; animal; article; Bufonidae; chemistry; classification; evolution; gene; genetics; histology; molecular genetics; nucleotide sequence; phylogeny; phylogeography; RNA gene; Animals; Biological Evolution; Bufonidae; DNA, Mitochondrial; Gen Amazonia; Atlantic Forest; Bufonids; Dendrophryniscus; Morphometry; Phylogeny



Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution


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