Rethinking the evolution of extant sub-Saharan African suids (Suidae, Artiodactyla)

Jaime Gongora, Rebecca E. Cuddahee, Fabrícia Ferreira do Nascimento, Christopher J. Palgrave, Stewart Lowden, Simon Y.W. Ho, Denbigh Simond, Chandramaya Siska Damayanti, Daniel James White, Wee Tek Tay, Ettore Randi, Hans Klingel, Clara J. Rodrigues-Zarate, Kari Allen, Chris Moran, Greger Larson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Although African suids have been of scientific interest for over two centuries, their origin, evolution, phylogeography and phylogenetic relationships remain contentious. There has been a long-running debate concerning the evolution of pigs and hogs (Suidae), particularly regarding the phylogenetic relationships among extant Eurasian and African species of the subfamily Suinae. To investigate these issues, we analysed the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences of extant genera of Suidae from Eurasia and Africa. Molecular phylogenetic analyses revealed that all extant sub-Saharan African genera form a monophyletic clade separate from Eurasian suid genera, contradicting previous attempts to resolve the Suidae phylogeny. Two major sub-Saharan African clades were identified, with Hylochoerus and Phacochoerus grouping together as a sister clade to Potamochoerus. In addition, we find that the ancestors of extant African suids may have evolved separately from the ancestors of modern day Sus and Porcula in Eurasia before they colonised Africa. Our results provide a revision of the intergeneric relationships within the family Suidae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-335
Number of pages9
JournalZoologica Scripta
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


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