DOI: 10.1101/463752Jan 2, 2019Paper

Phylogenomics of the adaptive radiation of Triturus newts supports gradual ecological niche expansion towards an incrementally aquatic lifestyle

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Ben WielstraH B Shaffer


Newts of the genus Triturus (marbled and crested newts) exhibit substantial variation in the number of trunk vertebrae (NTV) and a higher NTV corresponds to a longer annual aquatic period. Because the Triturus phylogeny has thwarted resolution to date, the evolutionary history of NTV, annual aquatic period, and their potential coevolution has remained unclear. To resolve the phylogeny of Triturus, we generated a c. 6,000 transcriptome-derived marker data set using a custom target enrichment probe set, and conducted phylogenetic analyses using: 1) data concatenation with RAxML, 2) gene-tree summary with ASTRAL, and 3) species-tree estimation with SNAPP. All analyses produce the same, highly supported topology, despite cladogenesis having occurred over a short timeframe, resulting in short internal branch lengths. Our new phylogenetic hypothesis is consistent with the minimal number of inferred changes in NTV count necessary to explain the diversity in NTV observed today. Although a causal relationship between NTV, body form, and aquatic ecology has yet to be experimentally established, our phylogeny indicates that these features have evolved together, and suggest that they may underlie the adaptive radiation that characterizes T...Continue Reading

Methods Mentioned


Software Mentioned

Picard tools

Related Concepts

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.