Complete mitochondrial genomes of five raptors and implications for the phylogenetic relationships between owls and nightjars

School of Life Sciences, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China
School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei, Anhui, China
Subject Areas
Evolutionary Studies, Genetics, Zoology
Caprimulgiformes, Strigiformes, complete mitochondrial genome, phylogenetic relationship
© 2019 Liu et al.
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Cite this article
Liu G, Zhou L, Zhao G. 2019. Complete mitochondrial genomes of five raptors and implications for the phylogenetic relationships between owls and nightjars. PeerJ Preprints 7:e27478v1


The phylogenetic relationships between owls and nightjars are rather complex and controversial. To clarify these relationships, we determined the complete mitochondrial genomes of Glaucidium cuculoides, Otus scops, Glaucidium brodiei, Caprimulgus indicus, and Strix leptogrammica, and estimated phylogenetic trees based on the complete mitochondrial genomes and aligned sequences from closely related species that were obtained in GenBank. The complete mitochondrial genomes were 17392, 17317, 17549, 17536, and 16307 bp in length. All mitochondrial genomes contained 13 protein-coding genes, two rRNAs, 22 tRNAs, and a putative control region. All mitochondrial genomes except for that of Strix leptogrammica contained a pseudo-control region. ATG, GTG, and ATA are generally start codons, whereas TAA is the most frequent stop codon. All tRNAs in the new mtDNAs could be folded into canonical cloverleaf secondary structures except for tRNASer (AGY) and tRNALeu (CUN) , which missing the “DHU” arm. The phylogenetic relationships demonstrated that Strigiformes and Caprimulgiformes are independent orders, and Aegothelidae is a family within Caprimulgiformes. The results also revealed that Accipitriformes is an independent order, and Pandionidae and Sagittariidae are independent families. The results also supported that Apodiformes is polyphyletic, and hummingbirds (family Trochilidae) belong to Apodiformes. Piciformes was most distantly related to all other analyzed orders.

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