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India's biogeographic history through the eyes of blindsnakes- filling the gaps in the global typhlopoid phylogeny

Sidharthan, C and Karanth, KP (2020) India's biogeographic history through the eyes of blindsnakes- filling the gaps in the global typhlopoid phylogeny. In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution . (In Press)

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2020.107064


The Indian subcontinent's unique geological history is reflected in the diverse assemblage of its biota. The blindsnake superfamily Typhlopoidea, with its unique mix of ancient as well as younger lineages in Asia, provides an opportunity to understand the various biotic exchange scenarios proposed for the Indian landmass. In this study, we aim to understand the biogeographic origins of the four genera of typhlopoids found in India and to decipher their times and modes of arrival in the subcontinent. Five nuclear markers were sequenced for 12 samples collected from across India, encompassing all four genera under study. Published sequences of typhlopoid genera were compiled and combined with Indian sequences to generate a global dataset. Phylogenetic relationships were reconstructed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference methods. Divergence times were estimated using BEAST 1.8.2. Ancestral geographical ranges were estimated using DEC + J, implemented in BioGeoBEARS. Divergence time estimates suggest that Gerrhopilus is an ancient lineage, and the lineage leading to it was present on the Indian landmass since the last 100 million years. The other three genera are more recent dispersals into India, possibly trans-oceanic. Biogeographic reconstructions suggest an East Gondwanan origin for Typhlopoidea, an African origin for Grypotyphlops and an Asian origin for Indotyphlops and Argyrophis. It appears that India harbours a combination of ancient and more recently dispersed lineages of typhlopoids. The genus Gerrhopilus is of Gondwanan origin that likely dispersed out of India into Southeast Asia. The other genera are intrusive elements that dispersed into India from Africa (Grypotyphlops) and Asia (Indotyphlops and possibly Argyrophis) post break-up of Gondwana. Thus, our study provides further evidence on the ability of blindsnakes to undergo long distance trans-oceanic dispersal. Results also suggest an Asian origin for typhlopoids from Australasia, Philippines and Wallacea. © 2021 Elsevier Inc.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Publisher: Academic Press Inc.
Additional Information: Copyright to this article belongs to Academic Press Inc.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 08:18
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 08:18
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/67867

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