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Assessing the phylogenetic signal of the nuclear β-Fibrinogen intron 7 in salamandrids (Amphibia: Salamandridae)

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The potential of the seventh intron of the β-subunit of the fibrinogen gene (β-fibint 7) for phylogenetic analysis within the Salamandridae family was explored, comparing the topologies of trees based on this marker to those based on mitochondrial 12S rRNA gene previously published. Using primers designed specifically for amphibians, we amplified 25 sequences of β-fibint 7 corresponding to 15 species of salamandrids and one plethodontid species. There was considerable length variation among the β-fibint 7 sequences examined, ranging from 1123 bp in S. atra to 400 bp in P. waltl. Many aspects of the phylogenetic relationships estimated by the two independent loci were congruent and corroborate current taxonomic hypothesis. Although the number of taxa analysed is small, the data obtained in this work suggested that β-fibint 7 is a useful marker for assessing phylogenetic relationships within the Salamandridae family, and is probably appropriate for phylogenetic studies among closely related salamanders that have diverged over the last 20 Myr.


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