Evolutionary Studies on an α-amylase Gene Segment in Bats and other Mammals


Comparative studies of salivary glands showed that they maybe related to the adaptive radiation of bats, especially in the family Phylostomidae. In this study we have been searching for a likely relationship between different feeding habits found in bats and possible adaptive changes in a coding segment of the α-amylase enzyme. We have also tested some hypothesis about the phylogenetic relationship of bats and other mammals. A 663 bp segment of the α-amylase gene, corresponding to the exon 4 and part of the intron c, was sequenced in nine bat species. The exon 4 was also sequenced in further ten mammalian species. The phylogenetic trees generated with different methods produced the same results. When the intron c and the exon 4 were independently analyzed, they showed distinct topologies involving the bat species Sturnira lilium, different from the traditional bat phylogeny. Phylogenetic analysis of bats, primates and rodents supports the Euarchontoglires-Laurasiatheria hypothesis about the relationship among these groups. Selection tests showed that the α-amylase exon 4 is under strong purifying selection, probably caused by functional constraints. The conflicting bat phylogenies could not be explained by evolutionary convergence due to adaptive forces, and the different topologies may be likely due to the retention of plesiomorphic characters or the independent acquisition by evolutionary parallelism.

DOI: 10.1007/s10709-005-1449-9

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@article{Redondo2005EvolutionarySO, title={Evolutionary Studies on an α-amylase Gene Segment in Bats and other Mammals}, author={Rodrigo Aparecido Fernandes Redondo and Fabr{\'i}cio Rodrigues Santos}, journal={Genetica}, year={2005}, volume={126}, pages={199-213} }