CiteULike CiteULike
Delicious Delicious
Connotea Connotea

Citation for Study 21557

About Citation title: "Phylogenetic relationships of cone snails endemic to Cabo Verde based on mitochondrial genomes ".
About Study name: "Phylogenetic relationships of cone snails endemic to Cabo Verde based on mitochondrial genomes ".
About This study is part of submission 21557 (Status: Published).


Abalde S., Tenorio M.J., Afonso C.M., Uribe J.E., Echeverry A.M., & Zardoya R. 2017. Phylogenetic relationships of cone snails endemic to Cabo Verde based on mitochondrial genomes. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 17: 231.


  • Abalde S. (submitter)
  • Tenorio M.J.
  • Afonso C.M.
  • Uribe J.E.
  • Echeverry A.M.
  • Zardoya R.


Background Due to their great species and ecological diversity as well as their capacity to produce hundreds of different toxins, cone snails are of great interest to evolutionary biologists, pharmacologists and amateur naturalists alike. Taxonomic identification of cone snails still relies mostly on the shape, color and banding patterns of the shell. However, these phenotypic traits are prone to homoplasy leading to under- and overestimations of the real number of species when convergence and local population variability, respectively, are not taken into account. Therefore, the consistent use of genetic data for species delimitation and phylogenetic inference in this apparently hyperdiverse group is largely wanting. Here, we reconstruct the phylogeny of the cones endemic to Cabo Verde archipelago, a well-known radiation of the group, using complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes. We use this model system as proof-of-concept of the enormous potential of mt genomes for generating highly resolved phylogenies that could serve as a framework to understand the evolutionary patterns and processes that have generated the extraordinary diversity of cone snails. Results The reconstructed phylogeny using probabilistic methods grouped the analyzed species into two main clades, one including Kalloconus from West Africa sister to Trovaoconus from Cabo Verde and the other with a paraphyletic Lautoconus due to the sister group relationship of Africonus from Cabo Verde and Lautoconus ventricosus from Mediterranean Sea and neighboring Atlantic Ocean to the exclusion of Lautoconus endemic to Senegal (plus Lautoconus guanche from Mauritania, Morocco, and Canary Islands). Within Trovaoconus, up to three main lineages could be distinguished. The clade of Africonus included four main lineages (named I to IV), each further subdivided into two monophyletic groups. Lineage I had species from the islands of Maio and Boa Vista; lineage II included species from the islands of Santiago and Maio sister to species endemic to the westernmost islands (Santo Antão, São Vicente and Santa Luzia); lineage III included species from the island of Maio sister to species from the island of Boa Vista; Lineage IV contained specimens from Sal, Maio and Boa Vista islands. The reconstructed phylogeny allowed inferring the evolution of the radula in the studied lineages as well as biogeographic patterns. The number of cone species endemic to Cabo Verde was revised under the light of sequence divergence data and the inferred phylogenetic relationships. Conclusions Phylogenetic analyses of mt genomes arrived at a robust and highly resolved phylogeny that confirmed the double origin of cones endemic to Cabo Verde. The sequence divergence between continental members of the genus Kalloconus and island endemics ascribed to the genus Trovaoconus is low, prompting for synonymization of the latter. The genus Lautoconus is paraphyletic. Lautoconus ventricosus is the closest living sister group of genus Africonus. Diversification of Africonus was in allopatry due to the non-planktonic nature of their larvae and mainly triggered by eustatic sea level changes that intermittently connected and disconnected the islands during the Miocene-Pliocene. Our study confirms the diversity of cone endemic to Cabo Verde but significantly reduces the number of valid species. Applying a sequence divergence threshold, the number of valid species within the sampled Africonus is reduced to half.


mitochondrial genomes, Africonus, Trovaoconus, Kalloconus

External links

About this resource

  • Canonical resource URI:
  • Other versions: Download Reconstructed NEXUS File Nexus Download NeXML File NeXML
  • Show BibTeX reference
  • Show RIS reference