Evolution

Cats in trees

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Science  12 Jul 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6449, pp. 136-137
DOI: 10.1126/science.365.6449.136-f

Studies of phylogenetic relationships among species have been moving toward whole-genome analysis. Even with full genomes, the evolutionary history among some species, especially those that diverged rapidly, can be difficult to discern. This is especially true if there has been incomplete lineage sorting or hybridization among species. One clade for which it has been difficult to disentangle species relationships is the cat family. Examining the genomes of 27 cat species, Li et al. showed that the phylogenetic signal is not constant within genomes. However, relationships among cat clades can be identified in regions of low recombination, such as the X chromosome. These may explain the discrepancy between the fossil record and molecular estimates of species diversification in many clades.

Mol. Biol. Evol. 10.1093/molbev/msz139 (2019).

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