, Volume 71, Issue 1-2, pp 43-56

Molecular phylogeny of Rodentia in the descent of genusBandicota

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Abstract

The interrelationships of murids and other rodent families as well as the evolutionary descent of multiple β-globins of murines are deduced from parsimony trees of relevant globin sequences. Our results show that Caviidae arises first, followed by Sciuridae which joins Muridae. In the murid line of descent Spalacinae arises first followed by two branches, one representing Cricentinae and Arvicolinae and the other Murinae. Although the rates of evolution of globin genes in the different rodent families are different, the murid branches show more or less a uniform rate of evolution of β globins. We have used this information to show that mouse-rat divergence occurred around 20 million years ago. The evolutionary rationale for the presence and the expression of different β-globin genes in murid populations is also discussed. Based on mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment analysis, the between-species relationships ofRattus rattus rufescens, Bandicota indica andBandicota bengalensis have been assessed and the time of divergence of the two bandicoot rats estimated.