Publication details

Diversity and genome-level molecular phylogeny of African giant shrews (Crocidura olivieri species complex)


DIANAT Malahatosadat NICOLAS-COLIN Violaine BRYJA Josef DENYS Christiane KONEČNÝ Adam

Year of publication 2020
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description The African giant white-toothed shrews, Crocidura olivieri species complex (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae), are one of the most common and abundant insectivorous small terrestrial mammals in sub-Saharan Africa. They inhabit a wide range of habitats. They have relatively large size, and are thus predisposed to play an important ecological role in ecosystems. Despite this importance, their diversity and evolutionary history is only partly understood – especially the evolutionary relationships among genetic lineages in the complex are not resolved and the species are not sufficiently delimited. From previous analyses (based primarily on mtDNA and nDNA) the species C. olivieri seemed to be paraphyletic and the whole species complex included several other taxa (C. fulvastra, C. goliath, C. somalica and C. viaria) as well as many synonyms. In our contribution we provide a phylogeny based on reduced-genome SNP data (produced by ddRAD sequencing over the whole genome), which helps to disentangle the complex taxonomic situation and provides suggestions for species delimitation and evolutionary history description taking into account the geographical and temporal context. The results showed that there are seven well-supported lineages in this complex. They are allopatrically distributed over sub-Saharan Africa but in west central Africa, there are two sympatrically occuring lineages. Morphologically distinct C. somalica forms a sister lineage to the rest of C. olivieri complex, whereas both C. fulvastra and C. goliath are included. Our completely resolved C. olivieri species complex phylogeny provides important background for subsequent research (e.g. taxonomic or biogeographical) of these distinguished mammals.
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