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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 34, No. 2, 2013, pp. 70-76
Bioline Code: zr13021
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2013, pp. 70-76

 en Molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of tree shrews
XU, Ling; FAN, Yu; JIANG, Xue-Long & YAO, Yong-Gang

Abstract

The tree shrew is currently located in the Order Scandentia and is widely distributed in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and South China. Due to its unique characteristics, such as small body size, high brain-to-body mass ratio, short reproductive cycle and life span, and low-cost of maintenance, the tree shrew has been proposed as an alternative experimental animal to primates in biomedical research. However, there is unresolved debate regarding the phylogenetic affinity of tree shrews to primates and their phylogenetic position in Euarchontoglires. To help settle this debate, we summarized the available molecular evidence on the phylogenetic position of the tree shrew. Most nuclear DNA data, including recent genome data, suggested that the tree shrew belongs to the Euarchonta clade harboring primates and flying lemurs (colugos). However, analyses of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) data suggested a close relationship to lagomorphs and rodents. These different clustering patterns could be explained by nuclear gene data and mtDNA data discrepancies, as well as the different phylogenetic approaches used in previous studies. Taking all available conclusions together, the robust data from whole genome of this species supports tree shrews being genetically closely related to primates.

Keywords
Tree shrew; Phylogenetic; Nuclear DNA; Mitochondria DNA

 
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