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SYSTEMATICS OF THE SPINY MOUSE (ACOMYS: MUROIDEA): MOLECULAR AND BIOCHEMICAL EVIDENCE

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Authors:
PASCALE CHEVRET Laboratoire de Patéontologie, Institut des Sciences de l'Evolution, URA 327 CNRS, Université Montpellier II, Place Eugéne Bataillon

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CATHERINE HÄNNIA Unité d'Oncologie Motéculaire, URA 1160 CNRS, Institut Pasteur

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On the basis of its dental and cranial morphology, Acomys (spiny mouse) has been considered a member of the Murinae. Recently, the immunological data of Sarich (1985) suggested that Acomys might not be a murine, or even a murid. After this surprising result, different morphological and molecular approaches have addressed the systematic position of Acomys. Most molecular and biochemical studies (immunology, isozyme electrophoresis, kaiyology, DNA/DNA hybridization, Lx amplification in the nuclear genome) indicate, that Acomys cannot be considered a murine. Two other taxa traditionally classified with the Murinae are in the same situation: Uranomys and Lophuromys. A recent morphological reexamination of these three genera also separates them from the murines (Denys et al., 1991).

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