An increase in studies in the Hajar Mountains from the southeastern Arabian Peninsula has revealed a high richness of endemic evolutionary lineages with many cryptic taxa. Omanosaura is the only lacertid lizard genus endemic to the Hajar Mountains, with two species O. cyanura and O. jayakari distributed throughout this mountain range. The phylogenetic relationships and genetic diversity between and within these species have been poorly studied. In this study, we collected mitochondrial (12S, cytb, and nd4) and nuclear (cmos and mc1r) sequences for 25 specimens of Omanosaura, including 15 individuals of O. jayakari and 10 of O. cyanura. We performed phylogenetic analyses based on network reconstruction, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate the relationships and intraspecific genetic diversity of these species. We estimated the time of divergence between the two species in the Miocene, around 8.5 million years ago. Omanosaura jayakari shows little genetic diversity, while O. cyanura presents two differentiated lineages. These are reciprocally monophyletic at mitochondrial and nuclear genes and present a high genetic distance between them. These two lineages are associated with the geographic features of the Hajar Mountains, with one lineage distributed in the northernmost part of the Hajar Mountains and the other in the rest of the western Hajars, the Jebel Akhdar, and the eastern Hajars. This geographic relationship has been recovered previously in other reptile taxa and is generally associated with high levels of local genetic diversity. Our results suggest the existence of cryptic diversity within O. cyanura and support a general biogeographic pattern of high diversity and endemism in the northern Hajar Mountains that certainly deserves additional research in the future.

Hidden in the Arabian Mountains: Multilocus phylogeny reveals cryptic diversity in the endemic Omanosaura lizards

Salvi, Daniele;
2018-01-01

Abstract

An increase in studies in the Hajar Mountains from the southeastern Arabian Peninsula has revealed a high richness of endemic evolutionary lineages with many cryptic taxa. Omanosaura is the only lacertid lizard genus endemic to the Hajar Mountains, with two species O. cyanura and O. jayakari distributed throughout this mountain range. The phylogenetic relationships and genetic diversity between and within these species have been poorly studied. In this study, we collected mitochondrial (12S, cytb, and nd4) and nuclear (cmos and mc1r) sequences for 25 specimens of Omanosaura, including 15 individuals of O. jayakari and 10 of O. cyanura. We performed phylogenetic analyses based on network reconstruction, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference to estimate the relationships and intraspecific genetic diversity of these species. We estimated the time of divergence between the two species in the Miocene, around 8.5 million years ago. Omanosaura jayakari shows little genetic diversity, while O. cyanura presents two differentiated lineages. These are reciprocally monophyletic at mitochondrial and nuclear genes and present a high genetic distance between them. These two lineages are associated with the geographic features of the Hajar Mountains, with one lineage distributed in the northernmost part of the Hajar Mountains and the other in the rest of the western Hajars, the Jebel Akhdar, and the eastern Hajars. This geographic relationship has been recovered previously in other reptile taxa and is generally associated with high levels of local genetic diversity. Our results suggest the existence of cryptic diversity within O. cyanura and support a general biogeographic pattern of high diversity and endemism in the northern Hajar Mountains that certainly deserves additional research in the future.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/122115
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