Comparing Molecular Evolution in Two Mitochondrial Protein Coding Genes (Cytochromeband ND2) in the Dabbling Ducks (Tribe: Anatini)

Kevin P. Johnson, Michael D. Sorenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rates of sequence evolution were estimated for the cytochromeb(cytb) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 (ND2) genes using a phylogeny of the dabbling ducks (Tribe: Anatini) and outgroups. This speciose group was densely sampled, reducing the impact of undetected homoplasy on rate comparisons. Phylogenies based on sequences of the two gene regions and various weighting schemes differed, but most of the differences involved weakly supported nodes. In addition, partition homogeneity tests show that these differences were not due to statistically significant conflict between the data sets. Cytband ND2 also showed similar rates and types of both nucleotide and amino acid substitutions. For both genes, substitutions between isoleucine and valine and between alanine and threonine were most common; both of these substitution types are the result of A-G transitions at first positions of codons. Rates of sequence evolution varied substantially and significantly among nucleotide positions, and even within a given codon position (first, second, or third), rates were significantly heterogeneous among sites. Within Anatini, cytband ND2 show similar levels of variation and homoplasy, and are equally useful for reconstructing the species level phylogeny of this group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)82-94
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Anas
  • MtDNA coding gene evolution
  • ND2
  • cytochromeb
  • molecular phylogeny
  • weighting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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