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Molecular Genetic-Distance Estimates Among the Ursidae as Indicated by One- and Two-Dimensional Protein Electrophoresis

David Goldman, P. Rathna Giri and Stephen J. O'Brien
Evolution
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Mar., 1989), pp. 282-295
DOI: 10.2307/2409208
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2409208
Page Count: 14
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Molecular Genetic-Distance Estimates Among the Ursidae as Indicated by One- and Two-Dimensional Protein Electrophoresis
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Abstract

Evolutionary relationships among eight species of Ursidae (including the giant panda) relative to two Procyonidae species (raccoon and red panda) were estimated based on the extent of electrophoretic variation of 289 radiolabelled fibroblast proteins resolved by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and among 44 isozyme loci resolved by one-dimensional electrophoresis. Allelic differences among these species were converted to genetic distances, and phenetic trees were constructed. In addition, the electrophoretic data were coded as unit characters, and minimum-length trees were derived based on the Wagner method using maximum parsimony. Regardless of the tree-building method employed, the data sets agreed on the following branching sequence: between 22.4 and 32.3 million years (MY) ago, the ancestors of the procyonids and the ursids split into two lineages. Within 10 MY, the red panda split from the line that led to the raccoon. An ancestor of the giant panda split from the ursid line 18-22 MY ago, and the South American spectacled bear split from the line leading to ursine bears 10.5-15.0 MY B.P. A group of six closely related ursine bears (brown bear, polar bear, Asiatic black bear, Malayan sun bear, American black bear, and sloth bear) diverged from a common ancestor during the past 4-8 MY. Much of this ursine radiation was not resolved by our results, with the exception of a recent (2-3 MY B.P.) divergence of brown bear and polar bear. The topological concordance of the data sets from one- and two-dimensional electrophoresis supports the usefulness of these procedures for evolutionary inference and provides additional precision to the reconstruction of divergence nodes of this carnivore group.

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