Groth, J. G., AMNH, New York, USA,
Barrowclough, G. F., AMNH, New York, USA,


Relationships of ratites and tinamous have received extensive attention for many decades. Previous morphological and genetic work, including DNA hybridization and analyses of complete mitochondrial genomes, have either assumed or supported monophyly of ratites, with tinamous as their sister taxon. In contrast, we found non-monophyly of the ratites. Our data included about 9.9 kb of slowly-evolving nuclear exon data (eight loci) for which sequence alignment was not an issue. Taxa in our study included all genera of extant ratites, three genera of tinamous, and as outgroups we used four diverse neognaths and two crocodylians. Trees derived from these data show support for tinamous nested within ratites. However, not all nuclear loci we used seemed suitable for deep-level systematics due to skewed base composition among taxa. Nevertheless, our results were not due to the inclusion of these compromised data. Eliminating the two most heterogeneous loci left a data set with a substantial 8.6 kb of sequence lacking the problem of appreciable base composition variation; analyses of these filtered data also showed ratites as non-monophyletic.

Oral presentation

Session #:G47
Date: Wednesday, 8/6/08
Time: 4:15 PM

Presentation is given by student: No