Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
A Molecular Assessment of Phylogenetic Relationships and Lineage Diversification Within the
Family Salamandridae (Amphibia, Caudata)
- Author(s): Weisrock, David W.
- Papenfuss, Theodore J.
- Macey, J. Robert
- Litvinchuk, Spartak N.
- Polymeni, Rosa
- Ugurtas, Ismail H.
- Zhao, Ermi
- Larson, Allan
- et al.
Phylogenetic relationships among species of the salamander family Salamandridae are investigated using nearly 3000 nucleotide bases of newly reported mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the mtDNA genic region spanning the genes tRNALeu-COI. This study uses nearly comprehensive species-level sampling to provide the first complete phylogeny for the Salamandridae. Deep phylogenetic relationships among the three most divergent lineages in the family Salamandrina terdigitata, a clade comprising the "True" salamanders, and a clade comprising all newts except S. terdigitata are difficult to resolve. However, most relationships within the latter two lineages are resolved with robust levels of branch support. The genera Euproctus and Triturus are statistically shown to be nonmonophyletic, instead each contains a diverse set of lineages positioned within the large newt clade. The genus Paramesotriton is also resolve as a nonmonophyletic group, with the newly described species P. laoensis constituting a divergent lineage placed in a sister position to clade containing all Pachytriton species and all remaining Paramesotriton species. Sequence divergences between P. laoensis and other Paramesotriton species are as great as those comparing P. laoensis and species of the genera Cynops and Pachytriton. Analyses of lineage diversification across the Salamandridae indicate that, despite its exceptional diversity, lineage accumulation appears to have been constant across time, indicating that it does not represent a true species radiation.