Phylogenetic affinity of tree shrews to Glires is attributed to fast evolution rate

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2014 Feb;71:193-200. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2013.12.001. Epub 2013 Dec 11.


Previous phylogenetic analyses have led to incongruent evolutionary relationships between tree shrews and other suborders of Euarchontoglires. What caused the incongruence remains elusive. In this study, we identified 6845 orthologous genes between seventeen placental mammals. Tree shrews and Primates were monophyletic in the phylogenetic trees derived from the first or/and second codon positions whereas tree shrews and Glires formed a monophyly in the trees derived from the third or all codon positions. The same topology was obtained in the phylogeny inference using the slowly and fast evolving genes, respectively. This incongruence was likely attributed to the fast substitution rate in tree shrews and Glires. Notably, sequence GC content only was not informative to resolve the controversial phylogenetic relationships between tree shrews, Glires, and Primates. Finally, estimation in the confidence of the tree selection strongly supported the phylogenetic affiliation of tree shrews to Primates as a monophyly.

Keywords: Evolution rate; Mammalian phylogeny; Phylogenomics; Tree shrew.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Composition
  • Codon
  • Genome
  • Humans
  • Mammals / genetics*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Tupaiidae / genetics*


  • Codon