On the basis of multiple protein data, the phylogenetic relationships among the major clades of eutherian mammals, Primates, Cetacea, Artiodactyla, Carnivora, Lagomorpha, Myomorpha, and Caviomorpha, were analyzed by the maximum likelihood (ML) method, together with the maximum parsimony (MP) method and the neighbor joining (NJ) method. Using nineteen protein data, we first reexamined the hypothesis of rodent polyphyly proposed by Graur et al. (1991) based on the four taxon system, consisting of human, mouse (or rat), guinea-pig and an outgroup. The ML analysis does not support the rodent polyphyly, but strongly favors the traditional view of rodent monophyly representing the Myomorpha-Caviomorpha association. In the second analysis, the phylogenetic position of Lagomorpha were reexamined using three sets of multiple protein data, 13 mitochondrial DNA-coded proteins from rodents, rabbit, human, seals, bovine, whales and opossum, 25 protein data from human, rabbit and rodents and an outgroup, and 20 protein data from human, rabbit, bovine (or pig) and rodents. Our analysis favors the closer affinity of Lagomorpha to Primates than to Rodentia. The branching sequence of seven mammalian groups revealed by the present analyses is as follows: Myomorpha-Caviomorpha clade (Rodentia), rabbit, Primates, Carnivora, and Artiodactyla-Cetacea clade. Judging from the branch lengths measured by the numbers of synonymous substitutions, a series of divergence of these mammals is likely to be bush-like. The rapid rate of rodent evolution was reexamined in the light of the new phylogeny.
1994 by The Genetics Society of Japan