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Namao virus (NV) is a sturgeon nucleocytoplasmic large DNA virus (sNCLDV) that can cause a lethal disease of the integumentary system in lake sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens. As a group, the sNCLDV have not been assigned to any currently recognized taxonomic family of viruses. In this study, a data set of NV DNA sequences was generated and assembled as two non-overlapping contigs of 306,448 bp and then used to conduct a comprehensive systematics analysis using Bayesian inference of phylogeny for NV, other sNCLDV and representative members of six families of the NCLDV superfamily. The phylogeny of NV was reconstructed using protein homologues encoded by nine nucleocytoplasmic virus orthologous genes (NCVOGs): NCVOG0022...
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Phylogenetic relationships among swifts of the morphologically conservative genus Chaetura were studied using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Taxon sampling included all species and 21 of 30 taxa (species and subspecies) within Chaetura. Our results indicate that Chaetura is monophyletic and support the division of the genus into the two subgenera previously identified using plumage characters. However, our genetic data, when considered in combination with phenotypic data, appear to be at odds with the current classification of some species of Chaetura. We recommend that C. viridipennis, currently generally treated as specifically distinct from C. chapmani, be returned to its former status as C. chapmani...
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The cyclic climate regime of the late Quaternary caused dramatic environmental change at high latitudes. Although these events may have been brief in periodicity from an evolutionary standpoint, multiple episodes of allopatry and divergence have been implicated in rapid radiations of a number of organisms. Shrews of the Sorex cinereus complex have long challenged taxonomists due to similar morphology and parapatric geographic ranges. Here, multi-locus phylogenetic and demographic assessments using a coalescent framework were combined to investigate spatiotemporal evolution of 13 nominal species with a widespread distribution throughout North America and across Beringia into Siberia. For these species, we first test...
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Salamanders of the North American plethodontid genus Plethodon are important model organisms in a variety of studies that depend on a phylogenetic framework (e.g., chemical communication, ecological competition, life histories, hybridization, and speciation), and consequently their systematics has been intensively investigated over several decades. Nevertheless, we lack a synthesis of relationships among the species. In the analyses reported here we use new DNA sequence data from the complete nuclear albumin gene (1818 bp) and the 12s mitochondrial gene (355 bp), as well as published data for four other genes (Wiens et al., 2006), up to a total of 6989 bp, to infer relationships. We relate these results to past...
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Multi-locus nuclear DNA data were used to delimit species of fringe-toed lizards of theUma notata complex, which are specialized for living in wind-blown sand habitats in the deserts of southwestern North America, and to infer whether Quaternary glacial cycles or Tertiary geological events were important in shaping the historical biogeography of this group. We analyzed ten nuclear loci collected using Sanger sequencing and genome-wide sequence and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data collected using restriction-associated DNA (RAD) sequencing. A combination of species discovery methods (concatenated phylogenies, parametric and non-parametric clustering algorithms) and species validation approaches (coalescent-based...
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Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence variation was examined in 131 individuals of the Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata) from across the species range in southwestern North America. Bayesian inference and nested clade phylogeographic analyses (NCPA) were used to estimate relationships and infer evolutionary processes. These patterns were evaluated as they relate to previously hypothesized vicariant events and new insights are provided into the biogeographic and evolutionary processes important in Baja California and surrounding North American deserts. Three major lineages (Lineages A, B, and C) are revealed with very little overlap. Lineage A and B are predominately separated along the Colorado River and are found primarily...
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The birds in the family Parulidae-commonly termed the New World warblers or wood-warblers-are a classic model radiation for studies of ecological and behavioral differentiation. Although the monophyly of a 'core' wood-warbler clade is well established, no phylogenetic hypothesis for this group has included a full sampling of wood-warbler species diversity. We used parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods to reconstruct relationships among all genera and nearly all wood-warbler species, based on a matrix of mitochondrial DNA (5840 nucleotides) and nuclear DNA (6 loci, 4602 nucleotides) characters. The resulting phylogenetic hypotheses provide a highly congruent picture of wood-warbler relationships, and...
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The Anaxyrus boreas species group currently comprises four species in western North America including the broadly distributed A. boreas, and three localized species, Anaxyrus nelsoni, Anaxyrus exsul and Anaxyrus canorus. Phylogenetic analyses of the mtDNA 12S rDNA, cytochrome oxidase I, control region, and restriction sites data, identified three major haplotype clades. The Northwest clade (NW) includes both subspecies of A. boreas and divergent minor clades in the middle Rocky Mountains, coastal, and central regions of the west and Pacific Northwest. The Southwest (SW) clade includes A. exsul, A. nelsoni, and minor clades in southern California. Anaxyrus canorus, previously identified as paraphyletic, has populations...
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We analyzed 286 nucleotides of the middle portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 61 brown bears from three locations in Alaska and 55 polar bears from Arctic Canada and Arctic Siberia to test our earlier observations of paraphyly between polar bears and brown bears as well as to test the extreme uniqueness of mitochondrial DNA types of brown bears on Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof (ABC) islands of southeastern Alaska. We also investigated the phylogeography of brown bears of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula in relation to other Alaskan brown bears because the former are being threatened by increased human development. We predicted that: (1) mtDNA paraphyly between brown bears and polar bears would be upheld,...
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We examined phylogeographic relationships of moose (Alces alces) worldwide to test the proposed existence of two geographic races and to infer the timing and extent of demographic processes underpinning the expansion of this species across the Northern Hemisphere in the late Pleistocene. Sequence variation within the left hypervariable domain of the control region occurred at low or moderate levels worldwide and was structured geographically. Partitioning of genetic variance among regions indicated that isolation by distance was the primary agent for differentiation of moose populations but does not support the existence of distinct eastern and western races. Levels of genetic variation and structure of phylogenetic...
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The avian family Aegothelidae (Owlet-nightjars) comprises nine extant species and one extinct species, all of which are currently classified in a single genus, Aegotheles. Owlet-nightjars are secretive nocturnal birds of the South Pacific. They are relatively poorly studied and some species are known from only a few specimens. Furthermore, their confusing morphological variation has made it difficult to cluster existing specimens unambiguously into hierarchical taxonomic units. Here we sample all extant owlet-nightjar species and all but three currently recognized subspecies. We use DNA extracted primarily from museum specimens to obtain mitochondrial gene sequences and construct a molecular phylogeny. Our phylogeny...
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Species complexes that have undergone recent radiations are often characterized by extensive allele sharing due to recent ancestry and (or) introgressive hybridization. This can result in discordant evolutionary histories of genes and heterogeneous genomes, making delineating species limits difficult. Here we examine the phylogenetic relationships among a complex group of birds, the white-headed gulls (Aves: Laridae), which offer a unique window into the speciation process due to their recent evolutionary history and propensity to hybridize. Relationships were examined among 17 species (61 populations) using a multilocus approach, including mitochondrial and nuclear intron DNA sequences and microsatellite genotype...
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Traditional subspecies classifications may suggest phylogenetic relationships that are discordant with evolutionary history and mislead evolutionary inference. To more accurately describe evolutionary relationships and inform conservation efforts, we investigated the genetic relationships and demographic histories of Buteo lineatus subspecies in eastern and western North America using 21 nuclear microsatellite loci and 375-base pairs of mitochondrial control region sequence. Frequency based analyses of mitochondrial sequence data support significant population distinction between eastern (B. l. lineatus/alleni/texanus) and western (B. l. elegans) subspecies of B. lineatus. This distinction was further supported...
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Electrophoretic analysis of proteins yielded evidence on the relationships of species of cranes and on genetic diversity within populations of some species. Diversity within the Greater Sandhill crane and a Florida population of the Florida Sandhill crane was similar to that of most other vertebrates, but diversity was low in the Mississippi Sandhill crane, in the Okefenokee population of the Florida Sandhill crane, and within the Siberian and Sarus cranes. Diversity was surprisingly high among whooping cranes, whose number dropped to less than 25 early in this century. Phylogenetic analysis, using both character state and distance algorithms, yielded highly concordant trees for the 15 species. The African crowned...
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The traditional avian subfamily Furnariinae, a group of terrestrial ovenbirds typical of the Andean and Patagonian arid zones, consists of the genera Furnarius, Cinclodes, Geositta, Upucerthia, Chilia, and Eremobius. We investigated phylogenetic relationships within the Furnariinae, with particular attention to the nine species of the genus Upucerthia, using nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences from all genera in the subfamily. Upucerthia was found to be highly polyphyletic, its constituent species forming four non-sister clades: (1) a basal lineage consisting of two Upucerthia species, U. ruficaudus and U. andaecola, as well as the monotypic genera Eremobius and Chilia; (2) a lineage consisting of U. harterti...
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Orobanche is the largest genus among the holoparasitic members of Orobanchaceae. We present the first molecular phylogenetic analysis (using nuclear ITS sequences) that includes members of all sections of Orobanche, Gymnocaulis, Myzorrhiza, Trionychon, and Orobanche. Orobanche is not monophyletic, but falls into two lineages: (1) the Orobanche group comprises Orobanche sect. Orobanche and the small Near Asian genus Diphelypaea and is characterized by a chromosome base number of x = 19 and (2) the Phelipanche group contains Orobanche sects. Gymnocaulis, Myzorrhiza, and Trionychon and possesses a chromosome base number of x = 12. The relationships between these two groups and to other genera such as Boschniakia or...
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The dynamic geological and climatic history of northwestern North America has made it a focal region for phylogeography. We conducted a range-wide phylogeographic analysis of the spotted frog complex (Rana luteiventris and Rana pretiosa) across its range in northwestern North America to understand its evolutionary history and the distribution of clades to inform conservation of R. pretiosa and Great Basin R. luteiventris, candidates for listing under the US Endangered Species Act. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data from a segment of the cytochrome b gene were obtained from 308 R. luteiventris and R. pretiosa from 96 sites. Phylogenetic analysis revealed one main R. pretiosa clade and three main R. luteiventris clades,...
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Neotropical lowland organisms often show marked population genetic structure, suggesting restricted migration among populations. However, most phylogeographic studies have focused on species inhabiting humid forest interior. Little attention has been devoted to the study of species with ecologies conducive to dispersal, such as those of more open and variable environments associated with watercourses. Using mtDNA sequences, we examined patterns of genetic variation in a widely distributed Neotropical songbird of aquatic environments, the Yellow-hooded Blackbird (Icteridae, Chrysomus icterocephalus). In contrast to many forest species, Yellow-hooded Blackbirds showed no detectable genetic structure across their range,...
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The Andes are a hotspot of global avian diversity, but studies on the historical diversification of Andean birds remain relatively scarce. Evolutionary studies on avian lineages with Andean–Patagonian distributions have focused on reconstructing species-level phylogenies, whereas no detailed phylogeographic studies on widespread species have been conducted. Here, we describe phylogeographic patterns in the Bar-winged Cinclodes (Cinclodes fuscus), a widespread and common species of ovenbird (Furnariidae) that breeds from Tierra del Fuego to the northern Andes. Traditionally, C. fuscus has been considered a single species composed of nine subspecies, but its long and narrow range suggests the possibility of considerable...
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Accurate taxonomic placement is vital to conservation efforts considering many intrinsic biological characteristics of understudied species are inferred from closely related taxa. The rayed creekshell, Anodontoides radiatus (Conrad, 1834), exists in the Gulf of Mexico drainages from western Florida to Louisiana and has been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. We set out to resolve the evolutionary history of A. radiatus, primarily generic placement and species boundaries, using phylogenetic, morphometric, and geographic information. Our molecular matrix contained 3 loci: cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, NADH dehydrogenase subunit I, and the nuclear-encoded ribosomal internal transcribed spacer...