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, 36 (2), 233-48

A Phylogenetic Analysis of Woodpeckers and Their Allies Using 12S, Cyt B, and COI Nucleotide Sequences (Class Aves; Order Piciformes)

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A Phylogenetic Analysis of Woodpeckers and Their Allies Using 12S, Cyt B, and COI Nucleotide Sequences (Class Aves; Order Piciformes)

David Matthew Webb et al. Mol Phylogenet Evol.

Abstract

Although the woodpeckers have long been recognized as a natural, monophyletic taxon, morphological analyses of their intra- and intergeneric relationships have produced conflicting results. To clarify this issue, and as part of a larger study of piciform relationships, nucleotide sequences for the 12S ribosomal RNA (12S; 1123 bp), cytochrome b (Cyt b; 1022 bp), and cytochrome oxidase c subunit 1 (COI; 1512 bp) mitochondrial genes were obtained from 34 piciform species that included 16 of the 23 currently recognized woodpecker genera (subfamily Picinae), three piculets (subfamily Picumninae), a wryneck (subfamily Jynginae), a honeyguide (family Indicatoridae), and three barbets (infraorder Ramphastides). Analyses were conducted on the individual and combined 12S, Cyt b, and COI sequences with maximum parsimony, neighbor-joining, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian algorithms. Based on the strong, congruent support among the different data partitions and models of sequence evolution, a highly resolved consensus of the relationships among woodpeckers and their allies could be formed. The monophyly of Indicatoridae + Picidae (infraorder Picides), Picidae, Picinae + Picumninae, and Picinae was strongly supported in all analyses. However, the tribes Colaptini, Picini, Campephilini, and Campetherini were shown to be paraphyletic as were the genera of Colaptes and Piculus. A revision of the tribal-level classification of woodpeckers is proposed and the importance of plumage convergence among woodpeckers is discussed.

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