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; Elliott, 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 Darwin, who first collected their remains, they included 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 ago, or are more likely to belong with the elephants and sirenians of superorder Afrotheria than with the euungulates (cattle, horses, and allies) of superorder Laurasiatheria. 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 phylogenetically informative protein sequences. For each ungulate, we obtain approximately 90% direct sequence coverage of type I collagen α1- and α2-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 available mammalian genomes or mass spectrometrically derived sequence data obtained for this study. The resulting consensus tree agrees well with recent higher-level mammalian phylogenies. Toxodon and Macrauchenia form a monophyletic group whose sister taxon is not Afrotheria or any of its constituent clades as recently claimed, but instead crown Perissodactyla (horses, tapirs, and rhinoceroses). These results are consistent with the origin of at least some South American native ungulates 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. Institut Max Planck for Evolutionary Anthropology; Alemania. University of York; Reino Unido
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. Universidad de Copenhagen; Dinamarca. Natural History Museum of Denmark; Dinamarca
Fil: Turvey, Samuel T.. Zoological Society of London. Institute of Zoology; Reino Unido
Fil: Reguero, Marcelo Alfredo. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - La Plata; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo. División Paleontología Vertebrados; Argentina
Fil: Gelfo, Javier Nicolás. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Centro Científico Tecnológico Conicet - La Plata; Argentina. Universidad Nacional de La Plata. Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo. División Paleontología Vertebrados; Argentina
Fil: Kramarz, Alejandro Gustavo. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Oficina de Coordinación Administrativa Parque Centenario. Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”; Argentina
Fil: Burger, Joachim. Johhannes Gutenberg Universität. Institut für Anthropologie Anselm-Franz-von-Bentzel-Weg; 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 GmbH. Applications Development; Alemania
Fil: Kaspar, Stephanie. Bruker Daltonik GmbH. Applications Development; Alemania
Fil: Olsen, Jesper V.. Universidad de Copenhagen; Dinamarca
Fil: Kiley, Patrick. University of Cambridge; Estados Unidos
Fil: Elliott, James A.. University of Cambridge; Estados Unidos
Fil: Kelstrup, Christian D.. Universidad de Copenhagen; Dinamarca
Fil: Mullin, Victoria. Trinity College Dublin. Smurfit Institute of Genetics; Irlanda
Fil: Hofreiter, Michael. University of York; Reino Unido. Universität Potsdam. Institut für Biochemie und Biologie; Alemania
Fil: Willerslev, Eske. Universidad de Copenhagen; Dinamarca. Natural History Museum of Denmark; Dinamarca
Fil: Hublin, Jean Jacques. Institut Max Planck for Evolutionary Anthropology; Alemania
Fil: Orlando, Ludovic. Universidad de Copenhagen; Dinamarca. Natural History Museum of Denmark; Dinamarca
Fil: Barnes, Ian. Natural History Museum; Reino Unido
Fil: Macphee, Ross D. E.. American Museum Of Natural History. New York; Estados Unidos
Subject
Ancient proteins
Toxodon
Macrauchenia
Phylogeny
Meteorología y Ciencias Atmosféricas
Ciencias de la Tierra y relacionadas con el Medio Ambiente
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:11336/49922