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Phylogenetic pattern, evolutionary processes and species delimitation in the Genus Echinococcus

Lymbery, A.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-0542-3446 (2017) Phylogenetic pattern, evolutionary processes and species delimitation in the Genus Echinococcus. Advances in Parasitology, 95 . pp. 111-145.

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An accurate and stable alpha taxonomy requires a clear conception of what constitutes a species and agreed criteria for delimiting different species. An evolutionary or general lineage concept defines a species as a single lineage of organisms with a common evolutionary trajectory, distinguishable from other such lineages. Delimiting evolutionary species is a two-step process. In the first step, phylogenetic reconstruction identifies putative species as groups of organisms that are monophyletic (share a common ancestor) and exclusive (more closely related to each other than to organisms outside the group). The second step is to assess whether members of the group possess genetic exchangeability (where cohesion is maintained by gene flow among populations) or ecological exchangeability (where cohesion is maintained because populations occupy the same ecological niche). Recent taxonomic reviews have recognized nine species within the genus . Echinococcus. Phylogenetic reconstructions of the relationships between these putative species using mtDNA and nuclear gene sequences show that for the most part these nine species are monophyletic, although there are important incongruences that need to be resolved. Applying the criteria of genetic and ecological exchangeability suggests that seven of the currently recognized species represent evolutionarily distinct lineages. The species status of . Echinococcus canadensis and . Echinococcus ortleppi could not be confirmed. Coalescent-based analyses represent a promising approach to species delimitation in these closely related taxa. It seems likely, from a comparison of sister species groups, that speciation in the genus has been driven by geographic isolation, but biogeographic scenarios are largely speculative and require further testing.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Academic Press
Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.
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