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. 2017 Jul;112:79-87.
doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.04.020. Epub 2017 Apr 24.

Mitogenomic Phylogeny of Cone Snails Endemic to Senegal


Mitogenomic Phylogeny of Cone Snails Endemic to Senegal

Samuel Abalde et al. Mol Phylogenet Evol. .


Cone snails attain in Senegal one of their highest peaks of species diversity throughout the continental coast of Western Africa. A total of 15 endemic species have been described, all placed in the genus Lautoconus. While there is ample data regarding the morphology of the shell and the radular tooth of these species, virtually nothing is known regarding the genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of one of the most endangered groups of cones. In this work, we determined the complete or near-complete (only lacking the control region) mitochondrial (mt) genomes of 17 specimens representing 11 endemic species (Lautoconus belairensis, Lautoconus bruguieresi, Lautoconus cacao, Lautoconus cloveri, Lautoconus cf. echinophilus, Lautoconus guinaicus, Lautoconus hybridus, Lautoconus senegalensis, Lautoconus mercator, Lautoconus taslei, and Lautoconus unifasciatus). We also sequenced the complete mt genome of Lautoconus guanche from the Canary Islands, which has been related to the cones endemic to Senegal. All mt genomes share the same gene arrangement, which conforms to the consensus reported for Conidae, Neogastropoda and Caenogastropoda. Phylogenetic analyses using probabilistic methods recovered three major lineages, whose divergence coincided in time with sea level and ocean current changes as well as temperature fluctuations during the Messinian salinity crisis and the Plio-Pleistocene transition. Furthermore, the three lineages corresponded to distinct types of radular tooth (robust, small, and elongated), suggesting that dietary specialization could be an additional evolutionary driver in the diversification of the cones endemic to Senegal. The reconstructed phylogeny showed several cases of phenotypic convergence (cryptic species) and questions the validity of some species (ecotypes or phenotypic plasticity), both results having important taxonomic and conservation consequences.

Keywords: Conus; Convergence; Lautoconus; Messinian Salinity Crisis; Mitochondrial genomes; Plio-Pleistocene transition; Radula.

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