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Molecular phylogenetics of the Diprotodontia (kangaroos, wombats, koala, possums, and allies)

M.J. Osborne,a,b,* L. Christidis,a and J.A. Normana

a Sciences Department, Museum Victoria, P.O. Box 666E, Melbourne 3001, Australia

b Department of Genetics, La Trobe University, Bundoora 3083, Australia

ABSTRACT

Mitochondrial ND2 sequences were used to investigate the phylogenetic relationships amongst 31 diprotodontid marsupials (kangaroos, wombats, koala, possums, and allies). ND2 sequences were analyzed separately and in conjunction with available 12S rDNA sequences for 22 diprotodontid taxa. Phylogenetic analyses consistently identified monophyly for the Burramyoidea, Phalangeroidea, Petauroidea, Tarsipedoidea, Macropodoidea, and the Vombatiformes. Like previous molecular and morphological studies, relationships between the super-families were less well resolved. Inconsistency between taxonomic rank and genetic distance was identified amongst the diprotodontids.