Phylogenetic relationships among the skunks: A molecular perspective
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Phylogenetic relationships among the three recognized genera of skunks (Mephitis, Spilogale, andConepatus) were examined using allozymes and nucleotide sequence data from portions of the cytochromeb gene and displacement loop of the mitochondrial genome. The data sets indicated thatMephitis andSpilogale shared a common ancestor after they diverged fromConepatus. Intrageneric relationships revealed that the level of genetic divergence between the two species ofSpilogale was equal to the level of divergence between the two species ofMephitis, with the two North American species ofConepatus possessing the least amount of genetic divergence.
Key wordsskunks Mephitinae Mustelidae phylogeny
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