Phylogenetic relationships, divergence and radiation within the subfamily neotominae (Rodentia: Cricetidae)
Corley, Megan S.
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The primary objective of this dissertation was to assess phylogenetic relationships at multiple hierarchical levels for rodents historically classified within the subfamily Neotominae. In Chapter I, the history of the taxonomic classification of rodents in the Neotominae and incongruence among phylogenetic studies was introduced. Chapter II utilized a multilocus dataset (one mitochondrial and three nuclear markers) to assess species group relationships for Peromyscus so that higher level taxonomic questions could be addressed, including the phylogenetic relationship of the genus Isthmomys to the remainder of the Neotominae as addressed in Chapter III. Results indicated that Peromyscus (sensu lato) requires revision, as one of its members (Isthmomys) is positioned outside of a monophyletic Peromyscus. In Chapter IV, the taxonomic status of the tylomyine rodents which previously were classified in the Neotominae was examined utilizing one mitochondrial and five nuclear markers. The tylomyine rodents form their own subfamily separate from the Neotominae and are more closely related to the neotomine rodents than they are to the Sigmodontinae. Finally, Chapter V examined the number of tribes and tribal affiliations that should be recognized within the Neotominae and employed coalescent theory to date tribal origins. The Neotominae consists of five tribes: the classification of the tribes Baiomyini, Neotomini, and Ochrotomyini are maintained as recognized in previous studies, and a separate Peromyscini (Peromyscus + Habromys, Megadontomys, Neotomodon, Onychomys, Osgoodomys, and Podomys) and Reithrodontomyini (Isthmomys + Reithrodontomys) should be recognized. Concluding remarks are provided in Chapter VI.