Exploring Chihuahuan Desert diversification in the gray-banded kingsnake, Lampropeltis alterna (Serpentes

Colubridae)

Edward A. Myers, Robert W. Bryson, Robert W. Hansen, Matthew Aardema, David Lazcano, Frank T. Burbrink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Within many biomes, the cause of phylogeographic structure remains unknown even across regions throughout North America, including within the biodiverse Chihuahuan Desert. For example, little is known about population structure or the timing of diversification of Chihuahuan endemics. This is due largely to the lack of population genomic studies within this region. We generated ultra-conserved element data for the gray-banded kingsnake (Lampropeltis alterna) to investigate lineage divergence and historical demography across the Chihuahuan Desert. We found three unique lineages corresponding to the Trans-Pecos and Mapimian biogeographic regions of the Chihuahuan Desert, and a distinct population in the Sierra Madre Occidental. Using several mutation rates to calibrate the timing of divergence among these lineages, we show that lineage divergence likely occurred during the Pleistocene, which indicates that careful consideration needs to be used when applying mutation rates to ultra-conserved elements. We suggest that biogeographic provinces within the Chihuahuan Desert may have served as allopatric refugia during climatic fluctuations of the Quaternary. This work serves as an important template for further testing biogeographic hypotheses within the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume131
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Colubridae
Chihuahuan Desert
Serpentes
Snakes
Mutation Rate
desert
Metagenomics
divergence
North America
Population
Ecosystem
mutation
Demography
refugium
biome
refuge habitats
demography
population structure
genomics
Pleistocene

Keywords

  • Chihuahuan Desert
  • Lampropeltini
  • Mutation rates
  • Phylogeography
  • Pleistocene speciation
  • Ultraconserved elements

Cite this

Myers, Edward A. ; Bryson, Robert W. ; Hansen, Robert W. ; Aardema, Matthew ; Lazcano, David ; Burbrink, Frank T. / Exploring Chihuahuan Desert diversification in the gray-banded kingsnake, Lampropeltis alterna (Serpentes : Colubridae). In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 2019 ; Vol. 131. pp. 211-218.
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Exploring Chihuahuan Desert diversification in the gray-banded kingsnake, Lampropeltis alterna (Serpentes : Colubridae). / Myers, Edward A.; Bryson, Robert W.; Hansen, Robert W.; Aardema, Matthew; Lazcano, David; Burbrink, Frank T.

In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Vol. 131, 01.02.2019, p. 211-218.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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