Strong genetic subdivision in Leptobrachium hendricksoni (Anura: Megophryidae) in Southeast Asia

in Amphibia-Reptilia
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Many biodiversity hotspots are located in areas with a complex geological history, like Southeast Asia, where species diversity may still be far underestimated, especially in morphologically conservative groups like amphibians. Recent phylogenetic studies on the frog genus Leptobrachium from Southeast Asia revealed the presence of deeply divergent mitochondrial clades in Leptobrachium hendricksoni from Malaysia and Sumatra but populations from Thailand have not been studied so far. In this study, we re-evaluate patterns of intraspecific genetic diversity in L. hendricksoni based on the analysis of combined sequences of mitochondrial 12S and 16S genes (1310 base pairs) including for the first time samples from southern Thailand. Thai populations of L. hendricksoni formed a distinct clade with respect to populations from central and southern Malaysia and Sumatra. High sequence divergence between lineages from Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra suggests the possible presence of cryptic species in L. hendricksoni. Divergence within L. hendricksoni dates back to the late Miocene, around 6 Mya, when lineages from Thailand, north Malaysia and Sumatra split from a lineage in south Malaysia, at about the same time as rising sea levels isolated the Thai-Malay peninsula. Subsequent splits took place later in the Pliocene, around 4.5 and 2.6 Mya. Our results highlight the role of geological history in promoting population divergence and speciation.

Strong genetic subdivision in Leptobrachium hendricksoni (Anura: Megophryidae) in Southeast Asia

in Amphibia-Reptilia



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    Map of the Thai-Malay peninsula and Sumatra showing land mass changes through the geological history of the region. Shaded areas represent different land mass extensions when sea level was at (a) 100 m and (b) 25 m above present level in the Miocene and the Pliocene (adopted from Woodruff, 2003), (c) −60 m in the Pleistocene and (d) −120 m below present level in the last glacial period (adopted from Sathiamurthy and Voris, 2006).

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    Map of the Thai-Malay peninsula and Sumatra showing sampling localities of L. hendricksoni. Localities 1-27 were sampled for the present study and localities 28-35 were sampled in previous studies with sequences downloaded from GenBank. Sample codes as in Table 1. The shaded area represents the distribution range of L. hendricksoni in Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra.

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    Time-calibrated gene tree reconstructed with BEAST, based on the analysis of 1310 bp of combined 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA mitochondrial genes for samples of L. hendricksoni (including the four major lineages discussed) and three outgroups. Sample codes and localities as in Table 1. Numbers on nodes represent ML bootstrap support values and Bayesian posterior probabilities, respectively (ML/BPP). Node ages are represented by horizontal bars (95% highest posterior density intervals) and numbers next to the nodes (median estimates). Scale (bottom) in millions of years.

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    Median joining haplotype network of combined mitochondrial 12S and 16S sequences showing the relationships among haplotypes of L. hendricksoni. Circles represent haplotypes, with sizes proportional to the number of the individuals sharing that haplotype. Hatch marks on the branches represent the number of mutations distinguishing haplotypes.

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