Poster Presentation Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference 2016

Resolving kangaroo phylogeny and overcoming retroposon ascertainment bias (#687)

William G Dodt 1 2 , Susanne Gallus 3 , Axel Janke 3 , Matthew J Phillips 1 2 , Maria Nilsson 3
  1. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
  2. Queensland University of Technology, Wavell Heights, QUEENSLAND, Australia
  3. Senckenberg Biodiversity and Research Centre, Frankfurt

The genus Macropus contains many of the most recognizable kangaroo species, which include the largest living marsupials. Despite being a well-studied group, the phylogenetic relationships within this genus remain poorly resolved. With the development of next generation sequencing, it has become possible to investigate phylogenetic relationships using genome level characters. I will discuss the use of retrotransposons as phylogenetic markers, with a focus on kangaroo evolution. A particular class of retrotransposon – an endogenous retrovirus - has been prolific during the evolution of kangaroos. We have utilized presence/absence information of retrotransposons to shed light on the phylogenetic relationships among members of the genus Macropus, and close relatives, and address the statistical support for retroposon analyses when only a single reference genome is available.