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A Molecular Assessment of the Taxonomy of Iranian Sylvia Warblers (Aves; Sylviidae).

Journal article
Authors Raziyeh Abdilzadeh
Mansour Aliabadian
Urban Olsson
Published in Journal of Genetic Resources
Volume 5
Issue 2
Pages 149-162
ISSN 2423-4257
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Pages 149-162
Language en
Keywords cox1, cytb, phylogeny, songbirds
Subject categories Biological Systematics


The largest genus in Sylviidae family is Sylvia, which is the archetype for warblers. It contains up to 28 species that are distributed in the Old World. Here, we study Iranian Sylvia using cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) and cytochrome b (cytb) mitochondrial markers to identify them and place in a phylogenetic context using all available GenBank samples of sufficient length. Bayesian trees for both cytb and cox1 mitochondrial markers are compatible. Previous results suggesting that the Sylvia curruca complex is separated into two major clades with high support is corroborated, as our results show two main clades, one that includes Sylvia atricapilla and Sylvia borin plus Pseudoalcippe atriceps and Lioptilus nigricapillus, and the remainder of the Sylvia species in the other one. Our study did not support the geographical groups: The West- Mediterranean group, the Central-Mediterranean group, and the East- Mediterranean or the African-European species, the African-Asian species, and the Mediterranean species inferred on molecular evidenced by previous studies. Sylvia cantillans is divided into three clades, corroborating previous studies. We confirmed the following taxa to occur in Iran: Sylvia borin, Sylvia atricapilla, Sylvia curruca curruca, Sylvia curruca halimodendri, Sylvia althaea, Sylvia crassirostris, Sylvia mystacea and Sylvia nisoria. All Iranian samples were conclusively identified to species level, and none of them give rise to any further taxonomic inquiry.

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