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Evolutionary relationships of the critically endangered frog Ericabatrachus baleensis Largen, 1991 with notes on incorporating previously unsampled taxa into large-scale phylogenetic analyses.

Siu-Ting K, Gower DJ, Pisani D, Kassahun R, Gebresenbet F, Menegon M, Mengistu AA, Saber SA, de Sá R, Wilkinson M, Loader SP - BMC Evol. Biol. (2014)

Bottom Line: We obtained fresh samples of the now rare and Critically Endangered Ericabatrachus baleensis and generated DNA sequences for two mitochondrial and four nuclear genes.We discuss the implications of our results for the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of E. baleensis, and suggest a two-tiered approach to the inclusion and analyses of new data in order to assess the phylogenetic relationships of previously unsampled taxa.Such approaches will be important in the future given the increasing availability of relevant mega-alignments and potential framework phylogenies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Biogeography Research Group, Basel 4056, Switzerland. simon.loader@unibas.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: The phylogenetic relationships of many taxa remain poorly known because of a lack of appropriate data and/or analyses. Despite substantial recent advances, amphibian phylogeny remains poorly resolved in many instances. The phylogenetic relationships of the Ethiopian endemic monotypic genus Ericabatrachus has been addressed thus far only with phenotypic data and remains contentious.

Results: We obtained fresh samples of the now rare and Critically Endangered Ericabatrachus baleensis and generated DNA sequences for two mitochondrial and four nuclear genes. Analyses of these new data using de novo and constrained-tree phylogenetic reconstructions strongly support a close relationship between Ericabatrachus and Petropedetes, and allow us to reject previously proposed alternative hypotheses of a close relationship with cacosternines or Phrynobatrachus.

Conclusions: We discuss the implications of our results for the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of E. baleensis, and suggest a two-tiered approach to the inclusion and analyses of new data in order to assess the phylogenetic relationships of previously unsampled taxa. Such approaches will be important in the future given the increasing availability of relevant mega-alignments and potential framework phylogenies.

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Ericabatrachus baleensis and its reported localities. A) Map showing the Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. B) Close-up of the Bale Mountains National Park showing the geographic position of the type locality (Tulla Negesso) and other sites (circles; squares indicate main human settlements). C) A specimen of E. baleensis found in the recent surveys [4], photograph by MM.
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Figure 5: Ericabatrachus baleensis and its reported localities. A) Map showing the Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. B) Close-up of the Bale Mountains National Park showing the geographic position of the type locality (Tulla Negesso) and other sites (circles; squares indicate main human settlements). C) A specimen of E. baleensis found in the recent surveys [4], photograph by MM.

Mentions: Fieldwork was conducted in July to August in 2008 in southeastern Ethiopia (Figures 5a–b) and June 2009, in Harenna Forest in Bale Mountains National Park. Harenna Forest is the type locality of Ericabatrachus baleensis[5], and comprises patchy, montane, primary rain forest, and secondary vegetation [4,5,11,25]. Herpetofaunal surveys carried out consisted primarily of visual encounter including rolling logs/stones and searching through leaf litter. All specimens for this study were collected in accordance with animal ethics guidelines established in the University of Basel.


Evolutionary relationships of the critically endangered frog Ericabatrachus baleensis Largen, 1991 with notes on incorporating previously unsampled taxa into large-scale phylogenetic analyses.

Siu-Ting K, Gower DJ, Pisani D, Kassahun R, Gebresenbet F, Menegon M, Mengistu AA, Saber SA, de Sá R, Wilkinson M, Loader SP - BMC Evol. Biol. (2014)

Ericabatrachus baleensis and its reported localities. A) Map showing the Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. B) Close-up of the Bale Mountains National Park showing the geographic position of the type locality (Tulla Negesso) and other sites (circles; squares indicate main human settlements). C) A specimen of E. baleensis found in the recent surveys [4], photograph by MM.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4008257&req=5

Figure 5: Ericabatrachus baleensis and its reported localities. A) Map showing the Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia. B) Close-up of the Bale Mountains National Park showing the geographic position of the type locality (Tulla Negesso) and other sites (circles; squares indicate main human settlements). C) A specimen of E. baleensis found in the recent surveys [4], photograph by MM.
Mentions: Fieldwork was conducted in July to August in 2008 in southeastern Ethiopia (Figures 5a–b) and June 2009, in Harenna Forest in Bale Mountains National Park. Harenna Forest is the type locality of Ericabatrachus baleensis[5], and comprises patchy, montane, primary rain forest, and secondary vegetation [4,5,11,25]. Herpetofaunal surveys carried out consisted primarily of visual encounter including rolling logs/stones and searching through leaf litter. All specimens for this study were collected in accordance with animal ethics guidelines established in the University of Basel.

Bottom Line: We obtained fresh samples of the now rare and Critically Endangered Ericabatrachus baleensis and generated DNA sequences for two mitochondrial and four nuclear genes.We discuss the implications of our results for the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of E. baleensis, and suggest a two-tiered approach to the inclusion and analyses of new data in order to assess the phylogenetic relationships of previously unsampled taxa.Such approaches will be important in the future given the increasing availability of relevant mega-alignments and potential framework phylogenies.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Biogeography Research Group, Basel 4056, Switzerland. simon.loader@unibas.ch.

ABSTRACT

Background: The phylogenetic relationships of many taxa remain poorly known because of a lack of appropriate data and/or analyses. Despite substantial recent advances, amphibian phylogeny remains poorly resolved in many instances. The phylogenetic relationships of the Ethiopian endemic monotypic genus Ericabatrachus has been addressed thus far only with phenotypic data and remains contentious.

Results: We obtained fresh samples of the now rare and Critically Endangered Ericabatrachus baleensis and generated DNA sequences for two mitochondrial and four nuclear genes. Analyses of these new data using de novo and constrained-tree phylogenetic reconstructions strongly support a close relationship between Ericabatrachus and Petropedetes, and allow us to reject previously proposed alternative hypotheses of a close relationship with cacosternines or Phrynobatrachus.

Conclusions: We discuss the implications of our results for the taxonomy, biogeography and conservation of E. baleensis, and suggest a two-tiered approach to the inclusion and analyses of new data in order to assess the phylogenetic relationships of previously unsampled taxa. Such approaches will be important in the future given the increasing availability of relevant mega-alignments and potential framework phylogenies.

Show MeSH