Ancient proteins resolve the evolutionary history of Darwin’s South American ungulates

Authors
Welker, Frido; Collins, Matthew J.; Thomas, Jessica A.; Wadsley, Marc; Brace, Selina; Cappellini, Enrico; Turvey, Samuel T.; Reguero, Marcelo Alfredo; Gelfo, Javier Nicolás; Kramarz, Alejandro Gustavo; Burger, Joachim; Thomas Oates, Jane; Ashford, David A.; Ashton, Peter D.; Rowsell, Keri; Porter, Duncan M.; Kessler, Benedikt; Fischer, Roman; Baessmann, Carsten; Kaspar, Stephanie; Olsen, Jesper V.; Kiley, Patrick; Elliot, James A.; Kelstrup, Christian D.; Mullin, Victoria; Hofreiter, Michael; Willerslev, Eske; Hublin, Jean Jacques; Orlando, Ludovic; Barnes, Ian; MacPhee, Ross D. E.
Publication Year
2015
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
No large group of recently extinct placental mammals remains as evolutionarily cryptic as the approximately 280 genera grouped as ‘South American native ungulates’. To Charles Darwin1,2, who first collected their remains, theyincluded perhaps the ‘strangest animal[s] ever discovered’. Today, much like 180 years ago, it is no clearer whether they had one origin or several, arose before or after the Cretaceous/Palaeogene transition 66.2 million years ago3 , or are more likely to belong with the elephants and sirenians of superorder Afrotheria than with the euungulates (cattle, horses, and allies) of superorder Laurasiatheria4–6.Morphology-based analyses have proved unconvincing because convergences are pervasive among unrelated ungulate-like placentals. Approaches using ancient DNA have also been unsuccessful, probably because of rapid DNA degradation in semitropical and temperate deposits. Here we apply proteomic analysis to screen bone samples of the Late Quaternary South American native ungulate taxa Toxodon (Notoungulata) and Macrauchenia (Litopterna) for phylogeneticallyinformative protein sequences. For each ungulate, we obtain approximately 90% direct sequence coverage of type I collagena1- anda2-chains, representing approximately 900 of 1,140 amino-acid residues for each subunit. A phylogeny is estimated from an alignment of these fossil sequences with collagen (I) gene transcripts from availablemammalian genomes ormass spectrometrically derived sequence data obtained for this study. The resulting consensus tree agrees well with recent higher-level mammalian phylogenies7–9. Toxodon and Macrauchenia form a monophyletic group whose sister taxon is not Afrotheria or any of its constituent clades as recently claimed5,6, but instead crown Perissodactyla (horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses). These results are consistent with the origin of at least some South American native ungulates4,6 from ‘condylarths’, a paraphyletic assembly of archaic placentals. With ongoing improvements in instrumentation and analytical procedures, proteomics may produce a revolution in systematics such as that achieved by genomics, but with the possibility of reaching much further back in time.
Fil: Welker, Frido. University Of York; Reino Unido. Institut Max Planck For Evolutionary Anthropology; Alemania
Fil: Collins, Matthew J.. University Of York; Reino Unido
Fil: Thomas, Jessica A.. University Of York; Reino Unido
Fil: Wadsley, Marc. University Of York; Reino Unido
Fil: Brace, Selina. Natural History Museum; Reino Unido
Fil: Cappellini, Enrico. Natural History Museum; Dinamarca
Fil: Turvey, Samuel T.. The Zoological Society Of London; Reino Unido
Fil: Reguero, Marcelo Alfredo. Universidad Nacional de la Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo. División Paleontología Vertebrados; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Gelfo, Javier Nicolás. Universidad Nacional de la Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo. División Paleontología Vertebrados; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Kramarz, Alejandro Gustavo. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Parque Centenario. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales; Argentina
Fil: Burger, Joachim. Johannes Gutenberg University; Alemania
Fil: Thomas Oates, Jane. University Of York; Reino Unido
Fil: Ashford, David A.. University Of York; Reino Unido
Fil: Ashton, Peter D.. University Of York; Reino Unido
Fil: Rowsell, Keri. University Of York; Reino Unido
Fil: Porter, Duncan M.. Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Estados Unidos
Fil: Kessler, Benedikt. University of Oxford; Reino Unido
Fil: Fischer, Roman. University of Oxford; Reino Unido
Fil: Baessmann, Carsten. Bruker Daltonik; Alemania
Fil: Kaspar, Stephanie. Bruker Daltonik; Alemania
Fil: Olsen, Jesper V.. Universidad de Copenhagen; Dinamarca
Fil: Kiley, Patrick. University of Cambridge; Reino Unido
Fil: Elliot, James A.. University of Cambridge; Reino Unido
Fil: Kelstrup, Christian D.. Universidad de Copenhagen; Dinamarca
Fil: Mullin, Victoria. Trinity College Dublin; Irlanda
Fil: Hofreiter, Michael. University Of York; Reino Unido. Institute for Biochemistry and Biology; Alemania
Fil: Willerslev, Eske. Natural History Museum; Dinamarca
Fil: Hublin, Jean Jacques. Institut Max Planck For Evolutionary Anthropology; Alemania
Fil: Orlando, Ludovic. Natural History Museum; Dinamarca
Fil: Barnes, Ian. Natural History Museum; Reino Unido
Fil: MacPhee, Ross D. E.. American Museum Of Natural History; Estados Unidos
Subject
MAMMALIA
PHYLOGENY
COLLAGEN (I)
NOTOUNGULATA
LITOPTERNA
LAURASIATHERIA
Paleontología
Ciencias de la Tierra y relacionadas con el Medio Ambiente
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Genética y Herencia
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Biología
Ciencias Biológicas
CIENCIAS NATURALES Y EXACTAS
Access level
Restricted access
License
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/ar/
Repository
CONICET Digital (CONICET)
Institution
Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
OAI Identifier
oai:ri.conicet.gov.ar:11336/14769