Contradictory phylogenetic signals in the laurasiatheria anomaly zone

Liliya Doronina*, Graham M. Hughes*, Diana Moreno-Santillan, Colleen Lawless, Tadhg Lonergan, Louise Ryan, David Jebb, Bogdan M. Kirilenko, Jennifer M. Korstian, Liliana M. Dávalos, Sonja C. Vernes, Eugene W. Myers, Emma C. Teeling, Michael Hiller, Lars S. Jermiin, Jürgen Schmitz, Mark S. Springer, David A. Ray*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Relationships among laurasiatherian clades represent one of the most highly disputed topics in mammalian phylogeny. In this study, we attempt to disentangle laurasiatherian interordinal relationships using two independent genome-level approaches: (1) quantifying retrotransposon presence/absence patterns, and (2) comparisons of exon datasets at the levels of nucleotides and amino acids. The two approaches revealed contradictory phylogenetic signals, possibly due to a high level of ancestral incomplete lineage sorting. The positions of Eulipotyphla and Chiroptera as the first and second earliest divergences were consistent across the approaches. However, the phylogenetic relationships of Perissodactyla, Cetartiodactyla, and Ferae, were contradictory. While retrotransposon insertion analyses suggest a clade with Cetartiodactyla and Ferae, the exon dataset favoured Cetartiodactyla and Perissodactyla. Future analyses of hitherto unsampled laurasiatherian lineages and synergistic analyses of retrotransposon insertions, exon and conserved intron/intergenic sequences might unravel the conflicting patterns of relationships in this major mammalian clade.
Original languageEnglish
Article number766
Number of pages17
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2022


  • Retrophylogenomics
  • Exon concatenation
  • Exon coalescence
  • Laurasiatheria
  • Scrotifera
  • Anomaly zone


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