Phylogenetic relationships among Nearctic shrews of the genus Sorex (Insectivora, Soricidae) inferred from combined cytochrome b and inter-SINE fingerprint data using Bayesian analysis.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2007 Jul; 44(1):192-203.MP
The field of molecular systematics has relied heavily on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis since its inception. Despite the obvious utility of mtDNA, such data inevitably only presents a limited (i.e., single genome) perspective on species evolution. A combination of mitochondrial and nuclear markers is essential for reconstructing more robust phylogenetic trees. To evaluate the utility of one category of nuclear marker (short interspersed elements or SINEs) for resolving phylogenetic relationships, we constructed an inter-SINE fingerprint for nine putative species of the genus Sorex. In addition, we analyzed 1011 nucleotides of the cytochrome b gene. Traditional neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony analyses were applied to the individual cytochrome b and inter-SINE fingerprint data sets, along with Bayesian analysis to the combined data sets. We found inter-SINE fingerprinting to be an effective species level marker; however, we were unable to reconstruct deeper branching patterns within the Sorex genus using these data. The combined data analyzed under a Bayesian analysis showed higher levels of structuring within the Otisorex subgenus, most notably recognizing a monophyletic group consisting of sister-taxa S. palustris and S. monticolus, S. cinereus and S. haydeni, and S. hoyi. An additional noteworthy result was the detection of an historic mitochondrial introgression event between S. monticolus and S. palustris. When combining disparate data sets, we emphasize researcher diligence as certain types of data and processes may overly influence the analysis. However, there is considerable phylogenetic potential stemming from inter-SINE fingerprinting.