Molecular phylogeny and taxonomic reconsideration of the subfamily Zapodinae (Rodentia: Dipodidae), with an emphasis on Chinese species.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2009 Jun; 51(3):447-53.MP
Although the subfamily Zapodinae (Rodentia, Dipodidae) contains only five species, the phylogeny and taxonomy of these species are still being disputed. First, whether Eozapus and Napaeozapus should be treated as independent genera or subgenera of Zapus has been argued for a long period. Second, the subspecific genetic differentiation of Chinese jumping mouse (Eozapus setchuanus) has not been studied in detail, neither from morphological nor molecular aspects. In this study, the phylogenetic relationship among all the five species of Zapodinae was reconstructed using DNA sequence data from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and the nuclear interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein gene. Bayesian inference, maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood analyses were conducted. The results showed that two major clades could be recognized within Zapodinae. Eozapus setchuanus, is the species endemic to China, strongly formed a monophyletic clade. In the other clade, genus Zapus received significant support in all analyses to be the sister group of the genus Napaeozapus. By comparing genetic distances among these three genera, we conclude that both Eozapus and Napaeozapus should be considered as valid genera rather than subgenera of Zapus. Furthermore, we observed that the two subspecies of E. setchuanus did not form reciprocally monophyletic groups, thus the traditional taxonomy which divided E. setchuanus into two subspecies based on only one morphological character was questionable.