Genetic divergence and evolutionary relationships in six species of genera Hoplobatrachus and Euphlyctis (Amphibia: Anura) from Bangladesh and other Asian countries revealed by mitochondrial gene sequences
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Alam, Mohammad Shafiqul
Khan, Md. Mukhlesur Rahman
To elucidate the species composition, genetic divergence, evolutionary relationships and divergence time of Hoplobatrachus and Euphlyctis frogs (subfamily Dicroglossinae, family Ranidae) in Bangladesh and other Asian countries, we analyzed the mitochondrial Cyt b, 12S and 16S rRNA genes of 252 specimens. Our phylogenetic analyses showed 13 major clades corresponding to several cryptic species as well as to nominal species in the two genera. The results suggested monophyly of Asian Hoplobatrachus species, but the position of African H. occipitalis was not clarified. Nucleotide divergence and phylogenetic data suggested the presence of allopatric cryptic species allied to E. hexadactylus in Sundarban, Bangladesh and several parapatric cryptic species in the Western Ghats, India. The presence of at least two allopatric cryptic species among diverged E. cyanophlyctis in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka was also suggested. In some cases, our estimated divergence times matched the paleogeological events of South and Southeast Asian regions that may have led to the divergence of Hoplobatrachus and Euphlyctis taxa. Especially, Land formation at Bangladesh (15-10 Ma) may have allowed the spread of these frog taxa to Southeast Asian areas, and the aridification of central India (5.1-1.6 Ma) might have affected the gene flow of widely distributed species. The present study revealed prior underestimation of the richness of the amphibian fauna in this region, indicating the possible occurrence of many cryptic species among these groups.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
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