DNA barcoding and phylogenetic relationships in Anatidae
Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) has been used as a powerful marker in a variety of phylogenetic studies. According to studies of bird species, the 694-bp sequence of the mitochondrial gene encoding COI is extremely useful for species identification and phylogeny. In the present study, we analyzed the COI barcodes of 79 species from 26 genera belonging to the Anatidae family. Sixty-six species (83.54%) of the species were identified correctly from their DNA barcodes. The remaining 13 species shared barcodes sequences with closely related species. Kimura two-parameter (K2P) distances were calculated between barcodes. The average genetic distance between species was 41 times higher compared to the average genetic distance within species. Neighbor-joining method was used to construct a phylogenetic tree, which grouped all of the genera into three divergent clades. Dendrocygna and Nomonyx + Oxyura were identified as early offshoots of the Anatidae. All the remaining taxa fell into two clades that correspond to the two subfamilies Anserinae and Anatiane. Based on our results, DNA barcoding is an effective molecular tool for Anatidae species identification and phylogenetic inference.