The origin of tetrapods is a major outstanding issue in vertebrate phylogeny. Each of the three possible principal hypotheses (coelacanth, lungfish, or neither being the sister group of tetrapods) has found support in different sets of data. In an attempt to resolve the controversy, sequences of 44 nuclear genes encoding amino acid residues at 10,404 positions were obtained and analyzed. However, this large set of sequences did not support conclusively one of the three hypotheses. Apparently, the coelacanth, lungfish, and tetrapod lineages diverged within such a short time interval that at this level of analysis, their relationships appear to be an irresolvable trichotomy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology