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, 32 (2), 524-38

Molecular Phylogenetic Relationships Based on Mitochondrial and Nuclear Gene Sequences for the Todies (Todus, Todidae) of the Caribbean

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Molecular Phylogenetic Relationships Based on Mitochondrial and Nuclear Gene Sequences for the Todies (Todus, Todidae) of the Caribbean

Lowell C Overton et al. Mol Phylogenet Evol.

Abstract

We used mitochondrial/nuclear gene sequence analyses to determine the historical relationships of the endemic species of Todus (Aves: Todidae) from the Caribbean. We collected 1920-bp of nucleotide sequence data from the mitochondrial genes cytochrome b, ATPase 6, ATPase 8, and 591-bp of the single-copy nuclear gene c-mos for all Todus species and representatives of their outgroup taxa (Hylomanes, Barypthengus, Chloroceryle, Ceryle, and Galbula) to reconstruct the evolutionary history (via parsimony and maximum likelihood) of the five Todus species. The substitution rates among the mitochondrial genes were found to be much higher than the substitution rate for the c-mos gene, consequently resulting in higher substitutional saturation for the mitochondrial genes. When we applied weighting schemes to account for the variance in substitutional heterogeneity among the genes then parsimony and likelihood analyses both demonstrate that the genus Todus is monophyletic and closer to the Hylomanes and Barypthengus genera than the Chloroceryle and Ceryle genera. The mitochondrial-gene trees and nuclear-gene trees both show similar results, thus providing support for the relationships among the taxa from loci within two independently evolving genomes. The nuclear gene c-mos was found, therefore, to be a viable nuclear gene candidate for resolving intermediate and deep divergences.

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