Evolutionary history of subspecies of Eurasian nuthatches (Sitta europaea persica) from Zagros Mountains, Iran
Abstract. Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea), with 18 subspecies, has a wide distribution in deciduous forests of Eurasia. The subspecies S.e.persica is a resident bird in the Zagros Mountains, from north-west to south-west of Iran. The aim of this study was to evaluate the taxonomic and phylogenetic relationships of this subspecies to European, Asian, as well as Caucasian clades. For this purpose, 10 individuals of two populations from Zagros forests in Kermansha and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad provinces were captured and blood samples were collected. Furthermore, we used ND2 sequence data (1041 bp) for 136 sequnces from GenBank. were used from Then genetic variations and Genealogical analysis was calculated using complete ND2 gene sequence (1041bp) and TRN+G model, Bayesian trees and maximum likelihood, respectively. Also, median joining algorithm showed the relationships among haplotypes. We found four new haplotypes for the Zagros populations. Our phylogenetic analysis revealed that the genetic distance between Zagros population and Caucasian clade was significantly small, demonstrating Zagros populations are part of the Caucasian clade. FST statistical values, resulted from Analysis of Molecular Variance (AMOVA), represented significant variations in genetic structure among Eurasian Nuthatch populations. Moreover, FCT revealed significant variation among European, Asian, and Caucasian clades. Overall our result suggests that Eurasian Nuthatch populations in Eurasia comprise three phylogenetic species, and likely biological species. Hoewever, the previous nomenclatured subspecies, S.e.caucasian and S.e.persica, can be considered as a common phylogenetic species.
Nova Biologica Reperta, Volume:5 Issue:2, 2018
155 - 167
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