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The value of updating GenBank accessions for supermatrix phylogeny: the case of the New Guinean marsupial carnivore genus Myoictis

Elsevier

Available online 16 October 2021, 107328

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2021.107328Get rights and content

Highlights

Taxonomic misattribution of GenBank accessions misleads Myoictis phylogeny.

A few misattributed accessions disproportionately mislead supermatrix phylogeny.

Updating these accessions corrects Myoictis supermatix phylogeny.

Myoictis melas is sister to all other Myoictis species.

We propose a model for flagging anomalous GenBank accessions.

Abstract

Erroneous taxonomic attributions in GenBank accessions can mislead phylogenetic inference and appear to be widespread within genera. We investigate the influence of taxonomic misattributions for reconstructing the phylogeny of three-striped dasyures, which include four recognized Myoictis species (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae) that are distributed across New Guinea and nearby islands. Molecular phylogenetic studies that have focused on dasyurids consistently resolve the interrelationships of these small carnivores, grouping M. leucura with M. wavicus, and placing M. wallacei and M. melas as successively deeper divergences from these. Two recent marsupial and mammalian supermatrix phylogenies instead favour an alternative Myoictis topology that is discordant with each of these relationships. We add new nuclear and mitochondrial sequences and employ randomized accession resampling that shows the supermatrix topologies are an artefact of several outdated taxonomic attributions in GenBank. Updating these accessions brings agreement across Myoictis phylogenies with randomly resampled accessions. We encourage authors to update GenBank taxonomic attributions and we argue that an option is needed for flagging accessions that are not demonstrably incorrect, but that provide anomalous results. This would serve both as a caution for future supermatrix construction and to highlight accessions of potentially significant biological interest for further study.

Keywords

GenBank

Marsupials

Myoictis

Phylogeny

Taxonomic misattribution

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