Alleles and phylogenetic results

Ken Kinman kinman2 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Jan 25 21:29:11 CST 2006

Hi Richard,
      Thanks for the citation to Stace, 2005.  Just hope our library's copy isn't at the bindery (would be just my luck).  I did read the abstract online, and it sounds very interesting, including an apparent discussion on the "desirability of insisting on a monophyletic classification".  That sounds particularly interesting.  As I have remarked before, maybe I should have been a botanist.   :-)

      And to John Grehan:  FTR (= for the record), I think you are overly critical of molecular phylogenetics.  Just yesterday, I was reading information about ASPM gene msequences.  That gene has a large, 53-base pair, insertion which unites the African hominoids (to the exlusion of Pongo).  This kind of major "indel" is far more convincing than just sequence similarity overall, so I encourage you to look for large indels which Pongo and Homo have in common (but not found in Pan and Gorilla).  Try following the lead of Fain and Houde, 2004, who discovered a major dichotomy (Metaves and Coronaves) within the large radiation of neoavian bird Orders.  Not only does overall genetic similarity support it, but indels give even stronger (far more convincing) support.  Then they went on to find new morphological evidence to back it up, just as morphological evidence is being found to back up the relationship of flamingos and grebes (whose morphological divergence has masked their relationship).  The morphology of birds is so full of homoplasy, that it has led us astray until now.  The hominoids appear to have very similar problems, so until you find some genetic support (and even one exclusive indel would be great) for your Pongo-Homo clade, I still think your list of "synapomorphies" are probably developmentally connected (non-independent) and therefore leading you and Schwartz astray.
    -----Ken Kinman

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