Vicariant patterns of fragmentation among gekkonid lizards of the genus Teratoscincus produced by the Indian collision: A molecular phylogenetic perspective and an area cladogram for Central Asia.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1999 Aug; 12(3):320-32.MP
A well-supported phylogenetic hypothesis is presented for gekkonid lizards of the genus Teratoscincus. Phylogenetic relationships of four of the five species are investigated using 1733 aligned bases of mitochondrial DNA sequence from the genes encoding ND1 (subunit one of NADH dehydrogenase), tRNA(Ile), tRNA(Gln), tRNA(Met), ND2, tRNA(Trp), tRNA(Ala), tRNA(Asn), tRNA(Cys), tRNA(Tyr), and COI (subunit I of cytochrome c oxidase). A single most parsimonious tree depicts T. przewalskii and T. roborowskii as a monophyletic group, with T. scincus as their sister taxon and T. microlepis as the sister taxon to the clade containing the first three species. The aligned sequences contain 341 phylogenetically informative characters. Each node is supported by a bootstrap value of 100% and the shortest suboptimal tree requires 29 additional steps. Allozymic variation is presented for proteins encoded by 19 loci but these data are largely uninformative phylogenetically. Teratoscincus species occur on tectonic plates of Gondwanan origin that were compressed by the impinging Indian Subcontinent, resulting in massive montane uplifting along plate boundaries. Taxa occurring in China (Tarim Block) form a monophyletic group showing vicariant separation from taxa in former Soviet Central Asia and northern Afghanistan (Farah Block); alternative biogeographic hypotheses are statistically rejected. This vicariant event involved the rise of the Tien Shan-Pamir and is well dated to 10 million years before present. Using this date for separation of taxa occurring on opposite sides of the Tien Shan-Pamir, an evolutionary rate of 0.57% divergence per lineage per million years is calculated. This rate is similar to estimates derived from fish, bufonid frogs, and agamid lizards for the same region of the mitochondrial genome (approximately 0.65% divergence per lineage per million years). Evolutionary divergence of the mitochondrial genome has a surprisingly stable rate across vertebrates.