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Title: Combining ultraconserved elements and mtDNA data to uncover lineage diversity in a Mexican highland frog ( Sarcohyla ; Hylidae)

Molecular studies have uncovered significant diversity in the Mexican Highlands, leading to the description of many new endemic species. DNA approaches to this kind of species discovery have included both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequencing and multilocus genomic methods. While these marker types have often been pitted against one another, there are benefits to deploying them together, as linked mtDNA data can provide the bridge between uncovering lineages through rigorous multilocus genomic analysis and identifying lineages through comparison to existing mtDNA databases. Here, we apply one class of multilocus genomic marker, ultraconserved elements (UCEs), and linked mtDNA data to a species complex of frogs (Sarcohyla bistincta, Hylidae) found in the Mexican Highlands. We generated data from 1,891 UCEs, which contained 1,742 informative SNPs forS. bistinctaand closely related species and captured mitochondrial genomes for most samples. Genetic analyses based on both whole loci and SNPs agree there are six to seven distinct lineages within what is currently described asS. bistincta. Phylogenies from UCEs and mtDNA mostly agreed in their topologies, and the few differences suggested a more complex evolutionary history of the mtDNA marker. Our study demonstrates that the Mexican Highlands still hold substantial undescribed diversity, making their conservation a particularly urgent more » goal. The Trans-Mexican Volcanic Range stands out as a significant geographic feature inSarcohylaand may have acted as a dispersal corridor forS. bistinctato spread to the north. Combining multilocus genomic data with linked mtDNA data is a useful approach for identifying potential new species and associating them with already described taxa, which will be especially important in groups with undescribed subadult phenotypes and cryptic species.

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Article No. e6045
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National Science Foundation
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