Phylogenetics of wigeons and allies (Anatidae: Anas): The importance of sampling multiple loci and multiple individuals

Jeffrey L. Peters, Kevin G. McCracken, Yuri N. Zhuravlev, Yi Lu, Robert E. Wilson, Kevin P. Johnson, Kevin E. Omland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Species-level DNA phylogenies frequently suffer from two shortcomings-gene trees usually are constructed from a single locus, and often species are represented by only one individual. To evaluate the effect of these two shortcomings, we tested phylogenetic hypotheses within the wigeons and allies, a clade of Anas ducks (Anatidae) composed of five species. We sequenced two nuclear introns from the Z-chromosome-linked chromo-helicase binding protein gene (CHD1Zb and CHD1Za) and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region for multiple individuals sampled from widespread geographic locations. We compared these phylogenies to previously published phylogenies constructed from morphology and protein coding regions of mtDNA. Relative to other nuclear introns, CHD showed remarkable phylogenetic utility. Of the 26 CHD1Zb alleles identified, only one was shared between two species, and the combined CHD datasets revealed that four of the five species were consistent with monophyly. Several species shared mtDNA haplotypes, which probably was a result of interspecific hybridization. Overall, the nuclear CHD tree and the mtDNA tree were more congruent with coding regions of mtDNA than they were with morphology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-224
Number of pages16
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Anas
  • CHD
  • Falcated duck
  • Gadwall
  • Nuclear intron
  • Phylogenetics
  • Wigeon
  • mtDNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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