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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2001 Jul;20(1):27-40.

Higher-level phylogeny of new world vireos (aves: vireonidae) based on sequences of multiple mitochondrial DNA genes.

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1
Department of Integrative Biology, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, Berkeley, California, 94720-3160, USA.

Abstract

Interfamilial relationships of the New World songbird family Vireonidae are uncertain. Thus, we sequenced 3069 bp of four mitochondrial genes (cyt b, ND2, ND3, COI) from 19 taxa in five families and two outgroups, to examine higher-level alliances with proposed relatives. We also sequenced cyt b and ND2 from an additional five vireonids to examine intergeneric relationships within the Vireonidae and incorporated 14 sequences of cyt b from GenBank to test the effects of taxon sampling on gene tree resolution. Families appeared monophyletic in all analyses, and the affinity of vireonids to Old World corvoids was corroborated. However, relationships among the Vireonidae and other families were not resolved. Sequences of vireonids revealed high levels of divergence within and between genera, with either Cyclarhis or Vireolanius positioned basally, depending on the analysis. On the basis of mitochondrial DNA and biogeographic evidence, vireonids represent a deep lineage derived from an Old World ancestor that colonized the New World, most likely via Beringia, with subsequent radiation in the Middle American tropics. We hypothesize postcolonization dispersal of the ancestor into Middle America, followed by extinction of the ancestor in North America. This extinction event left the North Temperate Zone unoccupied by any vireonid until northward reinvasion by some species of Vireo. Although the closest living relative of vireonids remains unidentified, broad-scale sequencing of additional extant corvoids with multiple molecular markers should further elucidate Old World alliances.

PMID:
11421646
DOI:
10.1006/mpev.2001.0944
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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