Monophyletic Origin of the Order Chiroptera and Its Phylogenetic Position Among Mammalia, as Inferred from the Complete Sequence of the Mitochondrial DNA of a Japanese Megabat, the Ryukyu Flying Fox (Pteropus dasymallus)
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Complete sequences of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) are useful for the reconstruction of phylogenetic trees of mammals and, in particular, for inferring higher-order relationships in mammals. In this study, we determined the complete sequence (16,705 bp) of the mtDNA of a Japanese megabat, the Ryukyu flying fox (Pteropus dasymallus). We analyzed this sequence phylogenetically by comparing it with the complete sequence of mtDNAs of 35 mammals in an effort to reevaluate the enigmatic relationship between Megachiroptera and Microchiroptera and the relationships between them and other mammals. Maximum-likelihood analysis of 12 concatenated mitochondrial proteins from 36 mammals strongly suggested the monophyly of the order Chiroptera and its close relationship to Fereuungulata (Carnivora + Perissodactyla + Cetartiodactyla). We estimated that megabats and microbats diverged approximately 58 MyrBP and discussed the origin and early evolution of Chiroptera based on our findings.
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