Nature Publishing Group, publisher of Nature, and other science journals and reference works
Nature
my account e-alerts subscribe register
   
Thursday 24 August 2017
Journal Home
Current Issue
AOP
Archive
Download PDF
References
Export citation
Export references
Send to a friend
More articles like this

Letters to Nature
Nature 379, 333 - 335 (25 January 1996); doi:10.1038/379333a0

Phylogenetic position of the order Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares and allies)

Dan Graur*, Laurent Duret & Manolo Gouy

*Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, 69978 Ramat Aviv, Israel
Laboratorie de Biométrie, Génétique et Biologie des Populations, CNRS URA 2055, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 43 Boulevard du 11 Novembre 1918, 69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

EVER since they have been classified as ruminants in the Old Testament (Leviticus 11:6, Deuteronomy 14:7) and equated with hyraxes in the vulgate Latin translation, rabbits and their relatives (order Lagomorpha) have frequently experienced radical changes in taxonomic rank. By using 91 orthologous protein sequences, we have attempted to answer the classical question "What, if anything, is a rabbit?"1. Here we show that Lagomorpha is significantly more closely related to Primates and Scandentia (tree shrews) than it is to rodents. This newly determined phylogenetic position invalidates the superordinal taxon Glires (Lagomorpha + Rodentia), and indicates that the morphological 'synapomorphies' previously used to cluster rodents and lagomorphs into Glires2,3, may actually represent symplesiomorphies or homoplasies that are of no phylogenetic value. This raises the possibility that the ancestral eutherian morphotype may have possessed many rodent-like morphological characters.

------------------

References

1. Wood, A. E. Evolution 11, 417−425 (1957).
2. Novacek, M. J., Wyss, A. R. & McKenna, M. C. in Phylogeny of the Tetrapods Vol. 2 (ed. Benton, M. J.) 31−71 (Oxford Univ. Press, 1988).
3. Luckett, W. P. & Hartenberger, J.-L. J. Mamm. Evol. 1, 127−147 (1993).
4. Casane, D., Dennebouy, N., de Rochambeau, H., Mounolou, J. C. & Monnerot, M. Genetics 138, 471−480 (1994). | PubMed | ChemPort |
5. Mignotte, F., Gueride, M., Champagne, A. M. & Mounolou, J. C. Eur. J. Biochem. 194, 561−571 (1990). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
6. Novacek, M. J. Nature 356, 121−125 (1992). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
7. McKenna, M. C. in Phylogeny of the Primates (eds Luckett, W. R. & Szalay, F. S.) 21−46 (Plenum, New York, 1975).
8. Miyamoto, M. M. & Goodman, M. Syst. Zool. 35, 230−240 (1986). | ISI |
9. Li, W.-H., Gouy, M., Sharp, P. A., O'hUigin, C. & Yang, Y.-W. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 87, 6703−6707 (1990). | ChemPort |
10. Bailey, W. J., Slightom, J. L. & Goodman, M. Science 256, 86−89 (1992). | PubMed | ChemPort |
11. Easteal, S. Genetics 124, 165−173 (1990). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
12. de Jong, W. W., Leunissen, J. A. M. & Wistow, G. J. in Mammalian Phylogeny: Placentals (eds Szalay, F. S., Novacek. M. J. & McKenna, M, C.) 5−12 (Springer, New York, 1993).
13. Duret, L., Mouchiroud, D. & Gouy, M. Nucleic Acids Res. 22, 2360−2365 (1994). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
14. George, D. G., Barker, W. C., Mewes, H. W., Pfeiffer, F. & Tsugita, A. Nucleic Acids Res. 22, 3569−3573 (1994). | PubMed | ChemPort |
15. Thompson, J. D., Higgins, D. G. & Gibson, T. J. Nucleic Acids Res. 22, 4673−4780 (1994). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
16. Graur, D., Hide, W. A. & Li, W.-H. Nature 351, 649−652 (1991). | Article | PubMed | ChemPort |
17. Graur, D., Hide, W. A., Zharkikh, A. & Li, W.-H. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 101B, 495−498 (1992). | ChemPort |
18. Milinkovitch, M. C. Trends Ecol. Evol. 10, 328−334 (1995). | Article |
19. Saitou, N. & Nei, M. Molec. Biol. Evol. 4, 406−425 (1987). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
20. Felsenstein, J. Cladistics 5, 164−166 (1989).
21. Adachi, J. & Hasegawa, M. MOLPHY: Programs for Molecular Phylogentics. I. PROTML; Maximum Likelihood Inference for Protein Phylogeny. Computer Science Monographys, no 27. (Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Tokyo, 1992).
22. Kimura, M. The Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1983).
23. Felsenstein, J. Evolution 39, 783−791 (1985). | ISI |
24. Li, W.-H. Molec. Biol. Evol. 6, 424−435 (1989). | PubMed | ChemPort |
25. Kishino, H., Miyata, T. & Hasegawa, M. J. molec. Evol. 30, 151−160 (1990).



© 1996 Nature Publishing Group
Privacy Policy