Phylogeny of the order rodentia inferred from structural analysis of short retroposon B1
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A large-scale study of short retroposon (SINE) B1 has been conducted in the genome of rodents from most of the known families of this mammalian order. The B1 nucleotide sequences of rodents from different families exhibited a number of characteristic features including substitutions, deletions, and tandem duplications. Comparing the distribution of these features among the rodent families, the currently discussed phylogenetic relationships were tested. The results of analysis indicated (1) an early divergence of Sciuridae and related families (Aplodontidae and Gliridae) from the other rodents; (2) a possible subsequent divergence of beavers (Castoridae); (3) a monophyletic origin of the group Hystricognathi, which includes several families, such as porcupines (Hystricidae) and guinea pigs (Caviidae); (4) a possible monophyletic origin of the group formed by the remaining families, including six families of mouselike rodents (Myodonta). Various approaches to the use of short retroposons for phylogenetic studies are discussed.
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