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Nuclear corroboration of DNA-DNA hybridization in deep phylogenies of hummingbirds, swifts, and passerines: the phylogenetic utility of ZENK (ii).

Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

genetics, Transcription Factors, classification, Songbirds, Phylogeny, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Genetic Variation, Evolution, Molecular, DNA-Binding Proteins, DNA, Base Composition, Animals

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      Abstract

      This paper documents the phylogenetic utility of ZENK at the avian intra-ordinal level using hummingbirds, swifts, and passerines as case studies. ZENK sequences (1.7 kb) were used to reconstruct separate gene trees containing the major lineages of each group, and the three trees were examined for congruence with existing DNA-DNA hybridization trees. The results indicate both that ZENK is an appropriate nuclear marker for resolving relationships deep in the avian tree, and that many relationships within these three particular groups are congruent among the different datasets. Specifically, within hummingbirds there was topological agreement that the major hummingbird lineages diverged in a graded manner from the "hermits," to the "mangoes," to the "coquettes," to the "emeralds," and finally to a sister relationship between the "mountain-gems" and the "bees." Concerning swifts, the deepest divergences were congruent: treeswifts (Hemiprocnidae) were sister to the typical swifts (Apodidae), and the subfamily Apodinae was monophyletic relative to Cypseloidinae. Within Apodinae, however, were short, unresolved branches among the swiftlets, spinetails, and more typical swifts; a finding which coincides with other datasets. Within passerine birds, there was congruent support for monophyly of sub-oscines and oscines, and within sub-oscines, for monophyly of New World groups relative to the Old World lineages. New World sub-oscines split into superfamilies Furnaroidea and Tyrannoidea, with the Tyrannoid relationships completely congruent among ZENK and DNA-DNA hybridization trees. Within Furnaroidea, however, there was some incongruence regarding the positions of Thamnophilidae and Formicariidae. Concerning oscine passerines, both datasets showed a split between Corvida and Passerida and confirmed the traditional membership of passerid superfamilies Muscicapoidea and Passeroidea. Monophyly of Sylvioidea, however, remained uncertain, as did the relationships among the superfamiles themselves. These results are strikingly similar to other recent findings and indicative of continuing uncertainty about the higher level relationships of oscine passerines.

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