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Molecular systematics of the antbird-ovenbird complex (Aves: Furnariida)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis concerns the phylogenetic relationships among suboscine birds with special emphasis on the antbird-ovenbird complex (Aves: Furnariida). The principal aim is to produce a framework for future systematic and comparative studies of suboscines by generating robust phylogenetic hypotheses from DNA-sequence data. Several gene regions, mostly from the nuclear genome, are used in order to get genetically independent estimates of phylogenetic relationships. The study is pioneering in the extensive use of nuclear DNA sequences to resolve passerine relationships.

The phylogenetic hypotheses are overall well supported by high nodal support values, and there is an overall good phylogenetic agreement between the different gene regions used. Several existing hypotheses about deeper relationships among New World suboscines based on morphology and DNA-DNA hybridisations are corroborated. In addition, novel hypotheses of relationships within the antbird-ovenbird complex are generated, e.g., a non-monophyletic origin of the ground antbirds, a basal position of the genus Sclerurus in relation to woodcreepers and core-ovenbirds, and a basal position of the genera Terenura, Myrmornis, Pygiptila and Thamnistes in relation to other typical antbirds.

Based on the results the current knowledge of systematic relationships among suboscines in general, and within the antbird-ovenbird complex in particular, are summarised and discussed. The thesis also includes discussions of recent methodological developments in avian molecular systematics, the use of morphological characters in phylogenetic reconstruction, and the problem of phylogenetic incongruence between data sets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Zoologiska institutionen , 2004. , 22 p.
Keyword [en]
systematics phylogeny DNA antbird ovenbird
National Category
Biological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-209ISBN: 91-7265-937-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-209DiVA: diva2:190977
Public defence
2004-09-15, filmsalen, Naturhistoriska riksmuseet, Frescativägen 40, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-08-25 Created: 2004-08-25Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Phylogeny of major lineages of suboscines (Passeriformes) analysed by nuclear DNA sequence data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phylogeny of major lineages of suboscines (Passeriformes) analysed by nuclear DNA sequence data
2001 (English)In: Journal of avian biology, ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 32, no 1, 15-25 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Phylogenetic relationships among major groups of passeriform birds were studied by analyses of nucleotide sequence data from two nuclear genes, c-myc and RAG-1. The results corroborated both the monophyly of the order Passeriformes, and the major dichotomy into oscine and suboscine passerines previously suggested based on syringeal morphology and DNA-DNA hybridizations. The representatives of the Old World suboscines (families Eurylaimidae, Philepittidae and Pittidae) formed a monophyletic clade. The New World suboscines clustered into two clades. The first contained Conopophaga (Conopophagidae), Furnarius (Furnariidae), Lepidocolaptes (Dendrocolaptidae), Thamnophilus (Formicariidae), and Rhinocrypta (Rhinocryptidae). Previously, the monophyly of this group has been inferred from their possession of a unique, "tracheophone" syrinx, and from DNA-DNA hybridisation data. The second clade of New World suboscines includes Gubernetes and Muscivora (Tyrannidae), Phytotoma (Phytotomidae), Tityra (Cotingidae) and Pipra (Pipridae). This group of families have been considered monophyletic based on morphology (although ambiguously) and DNA-DNA hybridisation. The sister group relationship of Tityra and Phytotoma supports the previously supposed cotingid affinity of Phytotoma. Nuclear DNA data also unambiguously group the lyrebirds Menura with the oscines.

The presented results from the analysis of nuclear DNA agree well with morphology and DNA-DNA hybridisation data. The precise age of the divergences studied herein are unknown but based on interpretations of the fossil record of passerine birds many of them might date back to the early Tertiary. The agreement between data from the nuclear DNA and other sources, along with the fact that neither of the studied genes showed sign of saturation, indicate the great potential of these two nuclear genes to resolve very old divergences in birds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell, 2001
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23262 (URN)10.1034/j.1600-048X.2001.320103.x (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-209Available from: 2004-08-25 Created: 2004-08-25 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved
2. Systematic relationships and biogeography of the tracheophone suboscines (Aves: Passeriformes)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Systematic relationships and biogeography of the tracheophone suboscines (Aves: Passeriformes)
2002 (English)In: Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, ISSN 1055-7903, Vol. 23, no 3, 499-512 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on their highly specialized “tracheophone” syrinx, the avian families Furnariidae (ovenbirds), Dendrocolaptidae (woodcreepers), Formicariidae (ground antbirds), Thamnophilidae (typical antbirds), Rhinocryptidae (tapaculos), and Conopophagidae (gnateaters) have long been recognized to constitute a monophyletic group of suboscine passerines. However, the monophyly of these families have been contested and their interrelationships are poorly understood, and this constrains the possibilities for interpreting adaptive tendencies in this very diverse group. In this study we present a higher-level phylogeny and classification for the tracheophone birds based on phylogenetic analyses of sequence data obtained from 32 ingroup taxa. Both mitochondrial (cytochrome b) and nuclear genes (c-myc, RAG-1, and myoglobin) have been sequenced, and more than 3000 bp were subjected to parsimony and maximum-likelihood analyses. The phylogenetic signals in the mitochondrial and nuclear genes were compared and found to be very similar. The results from the analysis of the combined dataset (all genes, but with transitions at third codon positions in the cytochrome b excluded) partly corroborate previous phylogenetic hypotheses, but several novel arrangements were also suggested. Especially interesting is the result that the genus Melanopareia represents a basal branch within the tracheophone group, positioned in the phylogenetic tree well away from the typical tapaculos with which it has been supposed to group. Other novel results include the observation that the ground antbirds are paraphyletic and that Sclerurus is the sister taxon to an ovenbird–woodcreeper clade. Patterns of generic richness within each clade suggest that the early differentiation of feeble-winged forest groups took place south of the Amazon Basin, while the more recent diversification was near the equator and (in tapaculos and ovenbirds) in the south of the continent

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2002
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23263 (URN)10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00034-9 (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-209Available from: 2004-08-25 Created: 2004-08-25 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved
3. Phylogenetic relationships of woodcreepers (Aves: Dendrocolaptinae) - incongruence between molecular and morphological data
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phylogenetic relationships of woodcreepers (Aves: Dendrocolaptinae) - incongruence between molecular and morphological data
2004 (English)In: Journal of Avian Biology, ISSN 1600-048X, Vol. 35, no 3, 280-288 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The woodcreepers is a highly specialized lineage within the New World suboscine radiation. Most systematic studies of higher level relationships of this group rely on morphological characters, and few studies utilizing molecular data exist. In this paper, we present a molecular phylogeny of the major lineages of woodcreepers (Aves: Dendrocolaptinae), based on nucleotide sequence data from a nuclear non-coding gene region (myoglobin intron II) and a protein-coding mitochondrial gene (cytochrome b). A good topological agreement between the individual gene trees suggests that the resulting phylogeny reflects the true evolutionary history of woodcreepers well. However, the DNA-based phylogeny conflicts with the results of a parsimony analysis of morphological characters. The topological differences mainly concern the basal branches of the trees. The morphological data places the genus Drymornis in a basal position (mainly supported by characters in the hindlimb), while our data suggests it to be derived among woodcreepers. Unlike most other woodcreepers, Drymornis is ground-adapted, as are the ovenbirds. The observed morphological similarities between Drymornis and the ovenbird outgroup may thus be explained with convergence or with reversal to an ancestral state. This observation raises the question of the use of characters associated with locomotion and feeding in phylogenetic reconstruction based on parsimony.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Blackwell, 2004
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23264 (URN)10.1111/j.0908-8857.2004.03234.x (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-209Available from: 2004-08-25 Created: 2004-08-25 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved
4. Phylogenetic relationships of typical antbirds (Thamnophilidae) and test of incongruence based on Bayes factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Phylogenetic relationships of typical antbirds (Thamnophilidae) and test of incongruence based on Bayes factors
2004 (English)In: BMC Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 4, no 23Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The typical antbirds (Thamnophilidae) form a monophyletic and diverse family of suboscine passerines that inhabit neotropical forests. However, the phylogenetic relationships within this assemblage are poorly understood. Herein, we present a hypothesis of the generic relationships of this group based on Bayesian inference analyses of two nuclear introns and the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. The level of phylogenetic congruence between the individual genes has been investigated utilizing Bayes factors. We also explore how changes in the substitution models affected the observed incongruence between partitions of our data set.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2004
National Category
Biological Sciences
Research subject
Zoology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23265 (URN)10.1186/1471-2148-4-23. (DOI)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-209Available from: 2004-08-25 Created: 2004-08-25 Last updated: 2010-01-07Bibliographically approved

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