The tempo and mode of New World monkey evolution and biogeography in the context of phylogenomic analysis

Natalie M. Jameson Kiesling, Soojin V. Yi, Ke Xu, F. Gianluca Sperone, Derek E. Wildman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The development and evolution of organisms is heavily influenced by their environment. Thus, understanding the historical biogeography of taxa can provide insights into their evolutionary history, adaptations and trade-offs realized throughout time. In the present study we have taken a phylogenomic approach to infer New World monkey phylogeny, upon which we have reconstructed the biogeographic history of extant platyrrhines. In order to generate sufficient phylogenetic signal within the New World monkey clade, we carried out a large-scale phylogenetic analysis of approximately 40. kb of non-genic genomic DNA sequence in a 36 species subset of extant New World monkeys. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference analysis all converged on a single optimal tree topology. Divergence dating and biogeographic analysis reconstruct the timing and geographic location of divergence events. The ancestral area reconstruction describes the geographic locations of the last common ancestor of extant platyrrhines and provides insight into key biogeographic events occurring during platyrrhine diversification. Through these analyses we conclude that the diversification of the platyrrhines took place concurrently with the establishment and diversification of the Amazon rainforest. This suggests that an expanding rainforest environment rather than geographic isolation drove platyrrhine diversification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)386-399
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue numberPB
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Amazonia
  • Neotropical primates
  • Neotropics
  • Phylogeny
  • Platyrrhine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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