Abstracts (first author)
Mitogenomics and the phylogeny of frogs
Anurans have a long evolutionary history of more than 200 million years, having undergone an extraordinary diversification that gave rise to more than 6,000 extant species. Previous morphological and molecular studies greatly contributed to the knowledge of the anuran Tree of Life. Yet, important questions remain still under debate. A data set of complete mitochondrial genomes and nine nuclear loci was used to address key questions regarding the higher-level relationships in frogs: (i) the placement of the root in the frog Tree of Life, (ii) the branching order among the five major lineages, (iii) the phylogenetic position of basal relict families within modern frogs (Neobatrachia), and (iv) the internal phylogeny of the family Pipidae (Xenopus’ relatives). Our data set demonstrated good phylogenetic performance in resolving the proposed questions, and further allowed examining other issues of great interest, including (vi) the evolution of mitochondrial gene orders in Anura, (vii) the presence of accelerated molecular evolutionary rates associated with the origin of Neobatrachia, and (viii) the evolution of sound production mechanisms in tongueless frogs (family Pipidae), which incorporated new bioacoustic and morphological data.