Phylogeny and evolution of the auks (subfamily Alcinae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences

PNAS
By: , and 

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Abstract

The genetic divergence and phylogeny of the auks was assessed by mitochondrial DNA sequence comparisons in a study using 19 of the 22 auk species and two outgroup representatives. We compared more than 500 nucleotides from each of two mitochondrial genes encoding 12S rRNA and the NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6. Divergence times were estimated from transversional substitutions. The dovekie (Alle alle) is related to the razorbill (Alca torda) and the murres (Uria spp). Furthermore, the Xantus's murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) and the ancient (Synthliboramphus antiquus) and Japanese murrelets (Synthliboramphus wumizusume) are genetically distinct members of the same main lineage, whereas brachyramphine and synthliboramphine murrelets are not closely related. An early adaptive radiation of six main species groups of auks seems to trace back to Middle Miocene. Later speciation probably involved ecological differentiations and geographical isolations.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Phylogeny and evolution of the auks (subfamily Alcinae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences
Series title PNAS
Volume 91
Issue 17
Year Published 1994
Language English
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 7 p.
First page 7912
Last page 7916
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