The topologies of phylogenetic trees characterized by a high level of intraspecific divergence between the phylogenetic DNA groups (clades) are often explained in terms of the theory of Pleistocene refugia. To elucidate the issue of the adaptive role of intraspecific divergence, the changes in the physicochemical properties of amino acids in the course of cladogenesis (MM01 model of the TreeSAAP 3.2 package) were analyzed in this work using as an example the nucleotide sequences of the cytochrome b gene in some species of northern animals (lemmings, redbacked voles, chipmunks, flying squirrels, ermines). It was shown that the process of intraspecific divergence was rarely accompanied by radical amino acid substitutions in cytochrome b caused by adaptation (directional selection). In connection with this, the hypothesis is discussed according to which the adaptive variants formed in the species at the peak of cold were lost with climatic warming due to the drift or selection against individuals adapted to cold.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 19, 2011
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