Different coat color may not mean different species for lemurs

New Haven, Conn. -- Researchers have found that lemurs suspected to belong to different species because of their strikingly different coat colors, are not only genetically alike, but belong to the same species.

Historically, species classification has been based on comparison of visible physical characteristics of plants or animals. Kellie Heckman, a post-doctoral fellow in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale, and her colleagues at other universities, used analysis of a mitochondrial gene, cytochrome b, to test the genetic relationship of 70 lemurs that were thought to belong to up to three different species. Their report was published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

"Our study combined morphological, genetic, geographic, and ecological data giving a multidimensional, and hopefully more accurate picture of species diversity," said Heckman. "Over the past decade, the number of proposed species of these lemurs has jumped from two to fifteen, based on physical differences. It pointed to the need for caution when identifying new species solely on the basis of visual or genetic characteristics."

The lemurs they tested had three extremely different coat colors and lived in different types of forest locations in southern Madagascar -- classic characteristics of separate species. These researchers chose to compare mitochondrial cytochrome b as a gene marker that is known to change at a rate similar to that of speciation. Other common nuclear genes may evolve more slowly or more rapidly with population drift.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that although the lemurs appeared to be different species because they were visually distinct, they did not differ genetically. According to the sequence of their cytochrome b genes, all belong to the same previously identified species, Microcebus griseorufus.

The authors also show that lemurs with each of the three

Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
Yale University

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Different approach needed to protect brains of premature infants
2. All itches not created equal -- Different parts of brain activated depending on cause
3. Different strategies underlie the ecology of microbial invasions
4. Different genes may cause autism in boys and girls
5. Different but equal: Settling the dosage compensation debate
6. Different microarray systems more alike than previously thought
7. Interaction of just 2 genes governs coloration patterns in mice
8. Phase II study of therapeutic vaccine shows efficacy in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer
9. Brightly colored birds most affected by Chernobyl radiation
10. Study identifies a common genetic risk factor for colorectal and prostate cancer
11. Which came first: Primates ability to see colorful food or see colorful sex?

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/18/2015)... , Nov. 18, 2015  As new scientific discoveries ... doctors and other healthcare providers face challenges in better ... and patients. In addition, as more children continue to ... patient,s adulthood and old age. John M. ... Children,s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) . --> ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... November 17, 2015 Paris ... --> Paris from 17 th ... the biometrics innovation leader, has invented the first combined scanner ... the same scanning surface. Until now two different scanners were ... scanner can capture both on the same surface. This ...
(Date:11/17/2015)... 17, 2015  Vigilant Solutions announces today that Mr. ... of Directors. --> --> ... from the partnership at TPG Capital, one of the ... $140 Billion in revenue.  He founded and led TPG,s ... TPG companies, from 1997 to 2013.  In his first ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... CITY , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna ... request of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock ... news release there are no corporate developments that would ... --> --> About ... www.aezsinc.com . --> Aeterna Zentaris is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & ... Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & ... by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to reach USD ... 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... The Academy of ... Interest Group (SIG), MultiGP, also known as Multirotor Grand Prix, to represent the First–Person ... few years. Many AMA members have embraced this type of racing and several new ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... New York , November 24, 2015 ... to a recent market research report released by Transparency ... projected to expand at a CAGR of 17.5% during ... "Non-invasive Prenatal Testing Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... estimates the global non-invasive prenatal testing market to reach ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: