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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships of the mouse opossum Thylamys (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) in southern South America.

Nucleotide sequence data from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were used to evaluate the phylogenetic relationships among mouse opossum species of the genus Thylamys. Based on approximately 1000 bp in five of the six species of the genus and including different localities for some of the species, we concluded that T. macrura from the subtropical forests of eastern Paraguay is the most primitive taxon. Subsequent radiation of the genus is explained mainly via founder effect speciation. This evolutionary scenario would account for the speciation of T. pusilla, T. venusta, T. pallidior, and T. elegans in the Chaco, southern Bolivia and northern Argentina, the Andean Altiplano, the Coastal Desert of Chile, and coastal Perú, respectively. Calibration of a molecular clock set the Pleistocene as the period for the differentiation of Thylamys species. The molecular results confirm the strong genetic connection between populations that inhabit the "pre-cordillera" of northern Chile (T. pallidior) and the canyons that run through the Atacama Desert to the lowlands in northern Chile. Our results confirm the occurrence of two Thylamys species in Chile, T. pallidior and T. elegans, within and south to the Atacama Desert, respectively.[1]


  1. Phylogenetic and biogeographic relationships of the mouse opossum Thylamys (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) in southern South America. Eduardo Palma, R., Rivera-Milla, E., Yates, T.L., Marquet, P.A., Meynard, A.P. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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