Molecular dating

To test these competing hypotheses, we sequenced six loci (~4300 bp data) and performed phylogenetic analyses of owlets.

Mitochondrial and nuclear trees were not congruent in their placement of H. However, both mitochondrial and nuclear combined datasets showed strong statistical support with high maximum likelihood bootstrap (/ = 0.98) for H. blewitti from its sister taxa was between 4.3 and 5.7 Ma coinciding with a period of drastic climatic changes in the Indian subcontinent.

Molecular-dating techniques potentially enable us to estimate the time of origin of any biological lineage.

Such techniques were originally premised on the assumption of a 'molecular clock'; that is, the assumption that genetic change accumulated steadily over time.

We recommend further studies with more data and complete taxon sampling to understand the biogeography of Indian Athene species.

"But many scientists focused on DNA sequencing have brushed aside aspects of the fossil data, but when you minimise the potential biases in molecular dating you instead get a story that matches the fossil evidence." Dr Phillips is presenting these findings at the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Conference this week. "Mammals diversified only after dinosaur extinction left space: Molecular dating from DNA sequences challenges dominant scientific theory." Science Daily.

Molecular phylogenetic approaches to this family have produced dynamic changes in the generic circumscriptions.

We conducted molecular phylogenetic analyses, time estimations and biogeographical analyses to confirm generic relationships, discuss their circumscription for classification and clarify the evolutionary history of the family.

Direct comparisons between these methods are difficult, because they differ in so many respects.

However, the assumptions about rate change on which they rely fall into a few broad categories.

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Thus, a reliable diagnosis of the taxonomic status of species living in endangered environments is extremely important for the development of conservation measures.

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