2004 Volume 41 Issue 4 Pages 259-268
Guineafowl has been classified into the order Galliformes. However, little genetic information was available to establish the phylogenetic position of the Guineafowl. In the present study we subjected the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of Numida mereagris, a representative member of Guineafowl, to complete sequencing. It was revealed that the mtDNA is a circular DNA of 16,726bp with a genomic structure the same as that of Gallus gallus var. domesticus and Coturnix japonica mtDNAs, though it is 62bp smaller than G. g. domesticus mtDNA and 29bp larger than C. japonica mtDNA. Similarities of the 13 genes and two ribosomal RNAs except D-loop and transfer RNAs between N. meleagris and G. g. domesticus and between N. meleagris and C. japonica ranged from 77.0% to 88.8% and from 76.2% to 88.4%, respectively. As the sequences of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 and cytochrome b genes have been reported for nine species (Bambusicola thoracis, Coturnix chinensis, C. japonica, G. g. domesticus, Gallus varius, Pavo cristatus, Perdix perdix, Phasianus colchicus, Tympanchus phasianellus) in the order Galliformes, the concatenated nucleotide sequences and amino-acid sequences of these two genes were subjected to phylogenetic analysis of N. meleagris against these nine species with Ayathya americana (Anseriformes) as an outgroup using a maximum likelihood (ML) method. The ML analyses of the first/second bases of codons, the third base of codons, and the amino-acid sequence consistently demonstrated that N. meleagris did not form clades with other species in the order but stayed in a remote position in the tree.