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Syst Biol. 2002 Dec;51(6):946-58.

Combined nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences resolve generic relationships within the Cracidae (Galliformes, Aves).

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  • 1Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Rua do Matão 277, Brazil 05508-900.

Abstract

The Cracidae is one of the most endangered and distinctive bird families in the Neotropics, yet the higher relationships among taxa remain uncertain. The molecular phylogeny of its 11 genera was inferred using 10,678 analyzable sites (5,412 from seven different mitochondrial segments and 5,266 sites from four nuclear genes). We performed combinability tests to check conflicts in phylogenetic signals of separate genes and genomes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the unrooted tree of ((curassows, horned guan) (guans, chachalacas)) was favored by most data partitions and that different data partitions provided support for different parts of the tree. In particular, the concatenated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genes resolved shallower nodes, whereas the combined nuclear sequences resolved the basal connections among the major clades of curassows, horned guan, chachalacas, and guans. Therefore, we decided that for the Cracidae all data should be combined for phylogenetic analysis. Maximum parsimony (MP), maximum likelihood (ML), and Bayesian analyses of this large data set produced similar trees. The MP tree indicated that guans are the sister group to (horned guan, (curassows, chachalacas)), whereas the ML and Bayesian analysis recovered a tree where the horned guan is a sister clade to curassows, and these two clades had the chachalacas as a sister group. Parametric bootstrapping showed that alternative trees previously proposed for the cracid genera are significantly less likely than our estimate of their relationships. A likelihood ratio test of the hypothesis of a molecular clock for cracid mtDNA sequences using the optimal ML topology did not reject rate constancy of substitutions through time. We estimated cracids to have originated between 64 and 90 million years ago (MYA), with a mean estimate of 76 MYA. Diversification of the genera occurred approximately 41-3 MYA, corresponding with periods of global climate change and other Earth history events that likely promoted divergences of higher level taxa.

PMID:
12554460
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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