Molecular phylogenetics of some endangered turtles reveals new close genetic relationships
Detection of the phylogenetic relationships between nine turtles. Five out of the sea turtles, two species of family Testudinidae, the Nile softshell turtle and semi-aquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae (red-eared slider), were recognized among the samples, is the first study in Egypt. A total of 18 blood samples were collected from turtles in different localities of Egypt. Analyses of partial mitochondrial and nuclear sequences have revealed phylogenetic inconsistencies within Cheloniidae, especially regarding the placement of the Leatherback turtle. A 645 bp, 562 bp, 555 bp and 395 bp control region fragment of COI, 16S, RAG-1 and 12S was analyzed. The high percentage similarity was confirmed in GenBank COI, RAG-1, 16S and 12S sequences with 99%-100%. Maximum Likelihood was used to construct a phylogenetic tree, which grouped the entire genus into two main divergent clades. The position of Dermochelyidae as sister to the rest of the studied marine turtles. This study succeeded in amplification by using the DNA target of the control region and therefore will be useful for the conservation management of marine turtles.