Molecular phylogenies and divergence times of sea urchin species of Strongylocentrotidae, Echinoida.Mol Biol Evol. 2003 Aug; 20(8):1211-21.MB
Sea urchins of the family Strongylocentrotidae have been important model systems in many fields of basic biology, yet knowledge of their evolutionary identities such as the phylogenetic relationships and divergence times remains limited. Here, I inferred molecular phylogenies of seven Strongylocentrotid species (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus, S. nudus, S. purpuratus, S. intermedius, S. droebachiensis, S. pallidus, and Hemicentrotus pulcherrimus) from the analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences of 12SrDNA (349 nt), 12SrDNA-tRNA(gln) region (862 nt), and a combined sequence of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI, 1080 nt) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit I (NDI, 742 nt). The rate of sequence evolution and divergence times for each species were then estimated from the trees with reference to the time of separation between Strongylocentrotidae and Parechinidae, 35 to 50 MYA. The three trees agree well with each other, and the phylogeny is summarized by ((S. franciscanus, S. nudus), (H. pulcherrimus (S. purpuratus, S. intermedius (S. droebachiensis, S. pallidus)))). It is notable that the genus Strongylocentrotus consists of two distinct clades and that H. pulcherrimus branches off within Strongylocentrotus, implying assignment of a separate, monospecific genus to this species inappropriate. The rate of sequence evolution is calibrated to be 0.24%-0.34%/Myr in 12SrDNA, 0.25%-0.36%/Myr in 12SrDNA-tRNA(gln), and 0.65%-0.93%/Myr in COI-NDI combined sequences. S. purpuratus, in particular, shows the significantly higher rate of evolution in the 12SrDNA and 12SrDNA-tRNA(gln) regions compared to other species, suggesting careful use of its sequences in comparative studies. The two clades of Strongylocentrotidae seem to have split 13-19 MYA, and H. pulcherrimus branched off 7.2-14 MYA. In the former clade, S. franciscanus and S. nudus separated 5.7-8.1 MYA. In the latter clade, S. purpuratus, S. intermedius, and the clade of S. droebachiensis and S. pallidus diverged approximately 4.6-12 MYA, and the last two closest species separated 2.1-3.1 MYA.