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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2005 Apr;35(1):254-70. Epub 2005 Jan 20.

Phylogeny of swallows (Aves: Hirundinidae) estimated from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences.

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Museum of Natural Science, 119 Foster Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.


The phylogeny of swallows was reconstructed by comparing segments of three genes, nuclear beta-fibrinogen intron 7 (betafib7), mitochondrial cytochrome b (cytb), and mitochondrial ND2, in a variety of combinations using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods. betafib7 was sequenced for 47 species, cytb for 74 species, and ND2 for 61 species to yield comparisons among 75 of the 84 currently recognized swallow species. The family Hirundinidae was confirmed to consist of two clades, Pseudochelidoninae (river martins) and Hirundininae (typical swallows). The Hirundininae is further divided into mud nesters (Hirundo sensu lato), core martins (Phedina, Riparia, and New World endemic genera), and basal relicts (Psalidoprocne, Cheramoeca, and Pseudhirundo). We did not resolve the hierarchy among these three hirundinine groups, but discovered many relationships within them. Mud-nesting genera have the following relationships: (Hirundo sensu stricto, Ptyonoprogne), (Delichon, (Petrochelidon, Cecropis)). Core martins have the following topology: (Phedina, Riparia cincta), (Riparia sensu stricto, Tachycineta, ((Stelgidopteryx, Progne), (Neotropical endemic genera))). Interspecific relationships among the Neotropical endemics were resolved completely; Atticora and Notiochelidon are paraphyletic, and all Neotropical endemics probably should be lumped into one or two genera. The final group of hirundinines, the basal relicts, consists of a sister pair, the Australian Cheramoeca and African Pseudhirundo. The African saw-wings (Psalidoprocne) are their likely sister group.

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