High Evolutionary Rates in Nuclear Genes of Squamates
- 142 Downloads
We compared nonsynonymous substitution rates (Ka) of nuclear coding genes between four major groups of living sauropsids (reptiles): birds, squamates, crocodiles, and turtles. Since only 9 orthologous genes are known in all the four taxonomic groups, we searched for orthologous genes known in chicken and at least one of any representative of poikilotherm sauropsids. Thus, we analyzed three additional data sets: 28 genes identified in chicken and various squamates, 24 genes identified in chicken and crocodilians, and 20 genes identified in chicken and turtles. To compare nonsynonymous substitution rates between all lineages of sauropsids, we used the relative-rate test with human genes as the outgroup. We show that 22/28 nuclear coding genes of squamates, especially snakes (15/16), have an higher evolutionary rate than those in chicken (in mean, 30–40% faster). However, no such difference is detected between crocodiles, turtles and chicken. Higher substitution rate in squamates nuclear coding genes than in chicken, and probably than in other sauropsids, could explain some of the difficulties in resolving the molecular phylogeny of reptiles.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.