Molecular evidence reveals a polyphyletic origin and chromosomal speciation of Lake Baikal's endemic asellid isopods

Authors

  • B. Hidding,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Zoological Museum, University of Amsterdam, Mauritskade 57, 1092 AD, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
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  • E. Michel,

    1. Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, Zoological Museum, University of Amsterdam, Mauritskade 57, 1092 AD, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
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  • A. V. Natyaganova,

    1. Limnological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian branch, Ulan-Batorskaya 3, 664033, Box 4199, Irkutsk, Russia
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  • D. YU. Sherbakov

    1. Limnological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian branch, Ulan-Batorskaya 3, 664033, Box 4199, Irkutsk, Russia
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B. Hidding. Fax: + 31 20 525 5402; E-mail: albert.hidding@student.uva.nl

Abstract

The six endemic isopod species of Lake Baikal have been regarded as a small species flock with uncertain affinities to related asellids. We provide evidence from 16S rRNA sequences for polyphyletic origins of Baikalian Asellidae. One clade of two species is related to the Eurasian genus Asellus. The other clade, Baicalasellus, shows affinities to North American asellids and may have a long evolutionary history within the lake basin. Some speciation events within Baicalasellus clearly have a chromosomal basis. In contrast with numerous taxa exhibiting monophyletic radiations in ancient lakes, the endemic Baikalian isopods arose by multiple invasions and chromosomal mechanisms.

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