Phylogeny and historical demography of Cynops pyrrhogaster (Amphibia: Urodela): Taxonomic relationships and distributional changes associated with climatic oscillations

Atsushi Tominaga, Masafumi Matsui, Natsuhiko Yoshikawa, Kanto Nishikawa, Terutake Hayashi, Yasuchika Misawa, Shingo Tanabe, Hidetoshi Ota

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19 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and estimated the historical demography of the Japanese fire-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, from Japanese mainlands using 1407-bp sequences of the mitochondrial DNA (NADH6, tRNAglu, cyt b) and 1208-bp sequences of nuclear DNA (Rag-1) genes. Phylogenetic trees based on mitochondrial DNA revealed four major haplotype clades (NORTHERN, CENTRAL, WESTERN, and SOUTHERN clades) within this species. Degree of genetic differentiation among major haplotype clades was very large for intraspecific variation, suggesting this species to be composed of four species lineages that replace each other geographically. Nuclear genetic variation presented no obvious patterns of geographic structure except for the distinctness of populations diagnosed by NORTHERN clade of mitochondrial haplotypes, suggesting results of incomplete lineage sorting. Current distribution and estimated divergence times for the genus Cynops suggest that the common ancestor of two Japanese species (C. pyrrhogaster and C. ensicauda from the Ryukyu Islands) had diverged at the edge of the continent corresponding to the present East China Sea and Central Ryukyus. Subsequent range expansion to Japanese mainland seems to have occurred in the middle Miocene. Population-genetic analyses indicated that all species lineages, except for the SOUTHERN one, experienced geographic population reductions and expansions associated with glacial and postglacial climatic oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-667
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Cynops
  • East Asia
  • Mitochondrial DNA
  • Nuclear DNA
  • Phylogeography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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