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Talk in Uppsala, May 19

posted May 15, 2014, 5:41 AM by Johan Nylander

Speaker: William J. Murphy

Title: Genomic Prospects for Resolving Modes of Speciation Across the Mammal Tree of Life

Time: May 19 at 15:15-16:00

Venue: C8:301, BMC, Uppsala,

Host: Robert Ekblom

Recent advances in mammalian phylogenomics have converged on a well-resolved phylogeny at the family level, and even the generic level for some orders (e.g. Primates and carnivores). Despite these advances, the majority of species are not placed in a comprehensive phylogeny based on adequate genomic sampling that is conducive to divergence time estimation and studying patterns of character evolution. Most phylogenies in the literature are based on mitochondrial DNA that may not reflect the true species tree, therefore new tools and methods are needed for examining phylogenetic concordance across the nuclear genome to understand regional variation in signal that might highlight regions influenced by hybridization and reproductive isolation. Here I will present the results from two genomic approaches used to achieve well-resolved nuclear and mitochondrial phylogenies at the species level. The first approach describes the application of genome-wide SNP arrays to produce a comprehensive nuclear phylogeny of the cat family, and a preliminary characterization of regional chromosomal discordance in phylogenetic signal. The second approach highlights the application of low-coverage genome sequencing and capture hybridization approaches on DNAs extracted from archived museum specimens, with a focus on hidden biodiversity within Southeast Asian mammals, and the promise of applying museum-based sequencing to produce a fully resolved tree of life for mammals.

William Murphy is Associate Professor at the Texas A & M University. He has a broad interest in phylogenomics, molecular evolution and sex chromosome evolution and is working primarily with mammals (especially felines).