Reconstruction of phylogenetic history to resolve the subspecies anomaly of Pantherine cats

Das, Ranajit (2018) Reconstruction of phylogenetic history to resolve the subspecies anomaly of Pantherine cats. In: 2nd International Online Conference on Biological Sciences, 22/07/2018, India.

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Background: All charismatic big cats including tiger, lion, leopard, snow leopard, and jaguar are grouped into the subfamily Pantherinae. Several mitogenomic approaches have been employed to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of the Pantherine cats but the phylogeny has remained largely unresolved till date. One of the major reasons for the difficulty in resolving the phylogenetic tree of Pantherine cats is the small sample size. While previous studies included only 5-10 samples, I have used 43 publically available taxa from GenBank ( to reconstruct Pantherine phylogenetic history. Materials and Methods: omplete mtDNA sequences were used from all individuals excluding the control region (15,489bp). A Bayesian MCMC approach was employed to investigate the divergence times among different Pantherine clades. Results: Both maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogeny generated a dendrogram: Neofelis nebulosa (Panthera tigris (Panthera onca (Panthera uncia (Panthera leo, Panthera pardus)))), grouping lions with leopards and placing snow leopards as an outgroup to this clade. The phylogeny revealed that lions split from their sister species leopard ~3 million years ago (Mya) and the divergence time between snow leopards and the clade including lions and leopards was estimated to be ~5 Mya. Conclusion: My study revealed that the morphology-based subspecies designation for both lions and tigers is largely not valid. The estimated tMRCA of 2.9 Mya between Barbary lions and Sub-Saharan African lions depicts the restriction of female-mediated gene flow between the lion populations in the backdrop of the habitat fragmentation taking place from late Pliocene to early to mid-Pleistocene creating islands of forest refugia in central Africa.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Panthera, Bayesian MCMC, mitogenome, subspecies anomaly
Subjects: Departments at MU > Manipal Centre for Natural Sciences
Depositing User: MCNS Editor
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2018 09:11
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 09:11

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