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Pečnerová, P. & Martínková, N. (2012). Evolutionary history of tree squirrels (Rodentia, Sciurini) based on multilocus phylogeny reconstruction. —Zoologica Scripta, 41, 211–219.

Tree squirrels of the tribe Sciurini represent a group with unresolved phylogenetic relationships in gene trees. We used partial sequences of mitochondrial genes for 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, cytochrome b and d-loop, and nuclear irbp, c-myc exon 2 and 3 and rag1 genes to reconstruct phylogenetic relationships within the tribe, maximizing the number of analysed species. Bayesian inference analysis of the concatenated sequences revealed common trends that were similar to those retrieved with supertree reconstruction. We confirmed congruence between phylogeny and zoogeography. The first group that diverged from a common ancestor was genus Tamiasciurus, followed by Palaearctic Sciurus and Indomalayan Rheithrosciurus macrotis. Nearctic and Neotropical Sciurus species formed a monophyletic group that included Microsciurus and Syntheosciurus. Neotropical Sciurini were monophyletic with a putative exception of Syntheosciurus brochus that was included in a polychotomy with Nearctic Sciurus in supertree analyses. Our data indicate that Sciurini tree squirrels originated in the northern hemisphere and ancestors of contemporary taxa attained their current distribution through overland colonization from the nearest continent rather than through trans-Pacific dispersal.