Phylogenomic analyses elucidate the evolutionary relationships of bats

Georgia Tsagkogeorga, Joe Parker, Elia Stupka, James A. Cotton, Stephen J. Rossiter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Molecular phylogenetics has rapidly established the evolutionary positions of most major mammal groups [1, 2], yet analyses have repeatedly failed to agree on that of bats (order Chiroptera) [3-6]. Moreover, the relationship among the major bat lineages has proven equally contentious, with ongoing disagreements about whether echolocating bats are paraphyletic [7-9] or a true group [10] having profound implications for whether echolocation evolved once or possibly multiple times. By generating new bat genome data and applying model-based phylogenomic analyses designed to accommodate heterogeneous evolutionary processes [4, 11], we show that - contrary to recent suggestions - bats are not closely related to odd-toed ungulates but instead have a more ancient origin as sister group to a large clade of carnivores, ungulates, and cetaceans. Additionally, we provide the first genome-scale support showing that laryngeal echolocating bats are not a true group and that this paraphyly is robust to their position within mammals. We suggest that earlier disagreements in the literature may reflect model misspecification, long-branch artifacts, poor taxonomic coverage, and differences in the phylogenetic markers used. These findings are a timely reminder of the relevance of experimental design and careful statistical analysis as we move into the phylogenomic era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2262-2267
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Biology
Volume23
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 18 2013

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Mammals
Chiroptera
Genes
Design of experiments
Statistical methods
ungulates
Echolocation
Genome
mammals
paraphyly
genome
phylogeny
carnivores
Artifacts
Research Design
statistical analysis
experimental design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Tsagkogeorga, G., Parker, J., Stupka, E., Cotton, J. A., & Rossiter, S. J. (2013). Phylogenomic analyses elucidate the evolutionary relationships of bats. Current Biology, 23(22), 2262-2267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.014

Phylogenomic analyses elucidate the evolutionary relationships of bats. / Tsagkogeorga, Georgia; Parker, Joe; Stupka, Elia; Cotton, James A.; Rossiter, Stephen J.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 23, No. 22, 18.11.2013, p. 2262-2267.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tsagkogeorga, G, Parker, J, Stupka, E, Cotton, JA & Rossiter, SJ 2013, 'Phylogenomic analyses elucidate the evolutionary relationships of bats', Current Biology, vol. 23, no. 22, pp. 2262-2267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.014
Tsagkogeorga G, Parker J, Stupka E, Cotton JA, Rossiter SJ. Phylogenomic analyses elucidate the evolutionary relationships of bats. Current Biology. 2013 Nov 18;23(22):2262-2267. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.09.014
Tsagkogeorga, Georgia ; Parker, Joe ; Stupka, Elia ; Cotton, James A. ; Rossiter, Stephen J. / Phylogenomic analyses elucidate the evolutionary relationships of bats. In: Current Biology. 2013 ; Vol. 23, No. 22. pp. 2262-2267.
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