An improved taxonomic sampling is a necessary but not sufficient condition for resolving inter-families relationships in Caridean decapods
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During the past decade, a large number of multi-gene analyses aimed at resolving the phylogenetic relationships within Decapoda. However relationships among families, and even among sub-families, remain poorly defined. Most analyses used an incomplete and opportunistic sampling of species, but also an incomplete and opportunistic gene selection among those available for Decapoda. Here we test in the Caridea if improving the taxonomic coverage following the hierarchical scheme of the classification, as it is currently accepted, provides a better phylogenetic resolution for the inter-families relationships. The rich collections of the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris are used for sampling as far as possible at least two species of two different genera for each family or subfamily. All potential markers are tested over this sampling. For some coding genes the amplification success varies greatly among taxa and the phylogenetic signal is highly saturated. This result probably explains the taxon-heterogeneity among previously published studies. The analysis is thus restricted to the genes homogeneously amplified over the whole sampling. Thanks to the taxonomic sampling scheme the monophyly of most families is confirmed. However the genes commonly used in Decapoda appear non-adapted for clarifying inter-families relationships, which remain poorly resolved. Genome-wide analyses, like transcriptome-based exon capture facilitated by the new generation sequencing methods might provide a sounder approach to resolve deep and rapid radiations like the Caridea.