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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685


MEIRELES, Carla Maria et al. Phylogenetic relationships among Brazilian howler monkeys, genus Alouatta (Platyrrhini, Atelidae), based on g1-globin pseudogene sequences. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 1999, vol.22, n.3, pp.337-344. ISSN 1415-4757.

The genus Alouatta (howler monkeys) is the most widely distributed of New World primates, and has been arranged in three species groups: the Central American Alouatta palliata group and the South American Alouatta seniculus and Alouatta caraya groups. While the latter is monotypic, the A. seniculus group encompasses at least three species (A. seniculus, A. belzebul and A. fusca). In the present study, approximately 600 base pairs of the g1-globin pseudogene were sequenced in the four Brazilian species (A. seniculus, A. belzebul, A. fusca and A. caraya). Maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods yielded phylogenetic trees with the same arrangement: {A. caraya [A. seniculus (A. fusca, A. belzebul)]}. The most parsimonious tree had bootstrap values greater than 82% for all groupings, and strength of grouping values of at least 2, supporting the sister clade of A. fusca and A. belzebul. The study also confirmed the presence of a 150-base pair Alu insertion element and a 1.8-kb deletion in the g1-globin pseudogene in A. fusca, features found previously in the remaining three species. The cladistic classification based on molecular data agrees with those of morphological studies, with the monospecific A. caraya group being clearly differentiated from the A. seniculus group.

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