The evolutionary relationship between the New World quail (Odontophoridae) and other groups of Galliformes has been an area of debate. In particular, the relationship between the New World quail and guineafowl (Numidinae) has been difficult to resolve. We analyzed >8 kb of DNA sequence data from 16 taxa that represent all major lineages of Galliformes to resolve the phylogenetic position of New World quail. A combined data set of eight nuclear loci and three mitochondrial regions analyzed with maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian methods provide congruent and strong support for New World quail being basal members of a phasianid clade that excludes guineafowl. By contrast, the three mitochondrial regions exhibit modest incongruence with each other. This is reflected in the combined mitochondrial analyses that weakly support the Sibley-Ahlquist topology that placed the New World quail basal in relation to guineafowl and led to the placement of New World quail in its own family, sister to the Phasianidae. However, simulation-based topology tests using the mitochondrial data were unable to reject the topology suggested by our combined (mitochondrial and nuclear) data set. By contrast, similar tests using our most likely topology and our combined nuclear and mitochondrial data allow us to strongly reject the Sibley-Ahlquist topology and a topology based on morphological data that unites Old and New World quail.
Posición Filogenética de las Codornices del Nuevo Mundo (Odontophoridae): Ocho Loci Nucleares y Tres Regiones Mitocondriales Contradicen la Morfología y la Filogenia de Sibley y Ahlquist