Novel insights into the phylogenetic relationships of the endangered marsupial genus Potorous

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Greta J FrankhamMark D B Eldridge


The three extant potoroo species of the marsupial genus Potorous -Potorous tridactylus, P. longipes and P. gilbertii - are all of conservation concern due to introduced predators and habitat loss associated with the European settlement of Australia. Robust phylogenies can be useful to inform conservation management, but past phylogenetic studies on potoroos have been unable to fully resolve relationships within the genus. Here, a multi-locus approach was employed, using three mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA): NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and 12S rRNA and four nuclear DNA (nuDNA) gene regions: breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility gene, recombination activating gene-1, apolipoprotein B and omega globin. This was coupled with widespread geographic sampling of the broadly distributed P. tridactylus, to investigate the phylogenetic relationships within this genus. Analyses of the mtDNA identified five distinct and highly divergent lineages including, P. longipes, P. gilbertii and three distinct lineages within P. tridactylus (northern mainland, southern mainland and Tasmanian). P. tridactylus was paraphyletic with the P. gilbertii lineage, suggesting that cryptic taxa may exist within P. tridactylus. NuD...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Bayesian Prediction
Cell Nucleus
DNA, Mitochondrial
Variation (Genetics)
Likelihood Functions
Sequence Determinations, DNA
Evolution, Molecular

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