Mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b (cyt b) and control region (CR) nucleotide sequences were used to study the molecular phylogeny of the genus Syrmaticus. We found that the substitution rates among the three codon positions of cyt b were heterogeneous and the transition-transversion ratio was highly biased. As to CR sequences of the genus, most variable sites were in the peripheral domains. All molecular phylogenetic trees based on the two genes showed that: 1) the Syrmaticus was monophyletic and included five species with the following cladistic relationship: (S. reevesii, (S. soemmerringii, (S. mikado, (S. humiae and S. ellioti)))). Using the TN genetic distance of cyt b, we inferred the divergence time of the five species according to putative molecular clock and found that values were largely in agreement with the geological scenarios. The origin and speciation processes of the studied group were inferred by combining molecular and biogeographical evidences.
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