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Data from: Molecular phylogeny and chromosomal evolution of Alcelaphini (Antilopinae)

Cite this dataset

Steiner, Cynthia C.; Charter, Suellen J.; Houck, Marlys L.; Ryder, Oliver A. (2014). Data from: Molecular phylogeny and chromosomal evolution of Alcelaphini (Antilopinae) [Dataset]. Dryad.


Robertsonian (Rb) translocations, in particular centric fusions, are thought to play a primary role in evolution and speciation of the Bovidae family. However, Rb fusions are often polymorphic within species, being suggested as phylogenetically uninformative characters. This work studies chromosome variation in 72 captive individuals of 6 species of Alcelaphini (Antilopinae): The hartebeest (genus Alcelaphus), hirola (Beatragus), black and blue wildebeests (Connochaetes), and the topi and bontebok (Damaliscus). We infer the phylogenic relationships among Alcelaphini species and determine patterns of chromosomal evolution using G-banded karyotypes and complete mitochondrial genome sequences. The molecular phylogeny showed an early divergence of Connochaetes, followed by the split of Alcelaphus plus Beatragus + Damaliscus as sister taxa. Mitochondrial and chromosomal phylogenies only differed in the position of the critically endangered Beatragus, likely due to homoplasic chromosome characters. Patterns of chromosome evolution, reconstructed using a probabilistic approach, suggest that chromosome changes leading to speciation in Alcelaphini do not exclusively involve consecutive reduction of diploid number through centric fusion but also the losses and reversions of Rb translocations in Beatragus and Damaliscus lineages. Our results provide evidence that complex scenarios of chromosomal rearrangements can be detected in relatively recent-diverged bovids, as in this group of antelopes.

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Sub-Saharan Africa