Four new avian mitochondrial genomes help get to basic evolutionary questions in the late cretaceous

Harrison, G.L., McLenachan, P.A., Phillips, M.J., Slack, Kerry E., Cooper, Alan, & Penny, David (2004) Four new avian mitochondrial genomes help get to basic evolutionary questions in the late cretaceous. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 21(6), pp. 974-983.

View at publisher (open access)


Good phylogenetic trees are required to test hypotheses about evolutionary processes. We report four new avian mitochondrial genomes, which together with an improved method of phylogenetic analysis for vertebrate mt genomes give results for three questions in avian evolution. The new mt genomes are: magpie goose (Anseranas semipalmata), an owl (morepork, Ninox novaeseelandiae); a basal passerine (rifleman, or New Zealand wren, Acanthisitta chloris); and a parrot (kakapo or owl-parrot, Strigops habroptilus). The magpie goose provides an important new calibration point for avian evolution because the well-studied Presbyornis fossils are on the lineage to ducks and geese, after the separation of the magpie goose. We find, as with other animal mitochondrial genomes, that RY-coding is helpful in adjusting for biases between pyrimidines and between purines. When RY-coding is used at third positions of the codon, the root occurs between paleognath and neognath birds (as expected from morphological and nuclear data). In addition, passerines form a relatively old group in Neoaves, and many modern avian lineages diverged during the Cretaceous. Although many aspects of the avian tree are stable, additional taxon sampling is required.

Impact and interest:

97 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
90 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 59864
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Articles free to read on journal website after 12 months
DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msh065
ISSN: 0737-4038
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Oxford University Press
Deposited On: 10 May 2013 02:34
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2015 05:37

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page