Mitochondrial dna dating

Bayesian dating methods incorporating a relaxed molecular clock provide divergence-time estimates which are consistently in agreement with the fossil record and which indicate a rapid radiation within Glires around 60 million years ago.

, underline the utility of mitochondrial sequences in the resolution of even relatively deep divergences and go some way to explaining the difficulty of conclusively resolving higher-level relationships within Glires with available data and methodologies.

Although most of a cell's DNA is contained in the nucleus, the mitochondrion has its own small DNA molecule and this DNA is passed down from mother to child.

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We show that the sequence data suggest a phylogenetic affinity between . These observations are at least partially explained by a Bayesian relaxed molecular dating approach which generates estimates of divergence times within Euarchontoglires that are compatible with fossil and biogeographical data and suggest that a rapid evolutionary radiation within Glires occurred around 60 million years ago.

is 16,923 bp long and presents the common vertebrate gene organization.

For example, while the monophyly of many classically diagnosed Rodentia groups (Hystricognathi – a grouping of Myoxidae and Sciuridae – and the Muroidea/Dipodidae group) have been supported by molecular analyses (eg []), relationships between these groups as well as the placement of a few under-studied taxa (such as the Anomaluridae) are controversial.

Discrepancies between molecular and other data are not restricted to tree topologies.

Mitochondrial DNA has been used to develop several models of human origins.

The Recent African Origins hypothesis (RAO) is currently the most popular model for human evolution.

For example, several molecular studies have suggested paraphyly of Rodentia or Glires [].

Both molecular approaches and morphological analyses have their limitations.

., an enigmatic rodent whose phylogenetic affinities have been obscure and extensively debated.

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