Phylogenetic relationships and cryptic species diversity in the Brazilian egg-brooding tree frog, genus Fritziana Mello-Leitao 1937 (Anura: Hemiphractidae)

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Elsevier B.V.



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The genus Fritziana (Anura: Hemiphractidae) comprises six described species (F. goeldii, F. ohausi, F. fissilis, F. ulei, F. tonimi, and F. izecksohni) that are endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Although the genus has been the subject of studies dealing with its taxonomy, phylogeny, and systematics, there is considerable evidence for cryptic diversity hidden among the species. The present study aims to understand the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among the species of Fritziana, as well as the relationships among populations within species. We analyzed 107 individuals throughout the distribution of the genus using three mitochondrial gene fragments (12S, 16S, and COI) and two nuclear genes (RAG1 and SLC8A3). Our data indicated that the species diversity in the genus Fritziana is underestimated by the existence of at least three candidate species hidden amongst the group of species with a closed dorsal pouch (i.e. F. fissilis and F. ulei). We also found four species presenting geographical population structures and high genetic diversity, and thus require further investigations. In addition, we found that two candidate species show a new arrangement for the tRNA-Phe gene, unique in Anura so far. Based on our results, we suggest that the conservation status of the species, as well as the species diversity in the genus Fritziana, needs to be reviewed.




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Molecular Phylogenetics And Evolution. San Diego: Academic Press Inc Elsevier Science, v. 123, p. 59-72, 2018.

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