The genetics and evolution of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan Pipile pipile, synonym Aburria pipile.
Hosie, Charlotte A.
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AbstractThe Trinidad Piping Guan, Pipile pipile synonym Aburria pipile (Jaquin, 1784) is the only endemic Cracid on the island of Trinidad. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered and is considered to be in ‘on-going decline’ by the IUCN, BirdLife International and Cracid Specialist Group. This study aims to examine aspects of genetic variation and the evolution of the mitochondrial genome in the Trinidad Piping Guan utilising, for the first time, samples collected from individuals in the wild and reference specimens of the genus Pipile sourced from museum collections. In this study the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan was sequenced for the first time. Analysis of intra-specific variation of wild Trinidad Piping Guan individuals using single nucleotide polymorphisms demonstrates extremely limited variation within the genes of the mitochondrial genome and nuclear gene intron sequences. Limited variation within this population is consistent with both historical and contemporary contractions of populations within a restricted island system, which may have serious implications for the future of this species in terms of both genetic diversity and conservation management. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete mitochondrial genome of the Trinidad Piping Guan enabled placement of the genus Pipile within the Galliforme evolutionary tree for the first time, and subsequently places the genus within the broader context of the Aves class. Mito-genomic analysis confirms that the Cracids are one of the basal Galliforme clades, and sister taxa to the Megapodidae. Phylogenetic placement of the Pipile genus is basal to that of the Crax species within the Cracidae family, indicative of an earlier evolutionary origin of the Piping Guans. The inclusion of the Trinidad Piping Guan, in the avian evolutionary tree using the whole mitochondrial genomes expands the current genetic phylogeny of the Cracid family, yielding a better understanding of evolutionary relationships among the Galliforme order and the diversification of modern avian lineages. This study has established novel molecular techniques for the analysis of mitochondrial DNA in historical specimens of the genus Pipile from museum reference collections. The analysis of inter-specific relationships within the genus Pipile has clarified the evolutionary and biogeographic relationships between the Piping Guan species. Additionally, the Trinidad Piping Guan is genetically defined for the first time as an evolutionarily significant unit, which represents a unique evolutionary pathway within this important genus in a closed island system on the island of Trinidad.
CitationGrass, A. A. (2018). The genetics and evolution of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan Pipile pipile, synonym Aburria pipile (Doctoral dissertation). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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The complete mitochondrial genome and phylogenetic position of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping Guan, Pipile pipile synonym Aburria pipile (Aves: Galliformes).Grass, Amelia; Hosie, Charlotte A.; McDowall, Ian; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 04/09/2016)The complete mitochondrial genome of the Critically Endangered Trinidad Piping Guan, Pipile pipile (Jacquin 1784) synonym Aburria pipile was sequenced for the first time in this study. The genome is 16,665 bp in length with overall base compositions of 30.1, 23.7, 32.3 and 13.9% for A, T, C, and G, respectively. Structurally, the P. pipile mitogenome is comparable to that of other Galliformes, thereby demonstrating typical avian gene organization. The mitogenome was subsequently used to produce a revised phylogenetic placement of P. pipile within the Galliforme order, positioning the Pipile genus basal within the Cracidae family. It is further envisaged that this novel genomic data will contribute to a wider understanding of genetic relationships within the genus Pipile and the analysis of the evolutionary relationships of the Galliforme order in a wider avian context.
Genetic analysis of the critically endangered Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile): Implications for phylogenetic placement and conservation strategiesMcDowall, Ian; Hosie, Charlotte A.; Robinson, Louise A. (University of Chester, 2011-11)Classified as critically endangered since 1994, the Trinidad Piping guan (Pipile pipile) is an endemic species estimated to number less than 200 individuals. Known to locals of Trinidad as the ‘Pawi’ this bird has been the subject of substantial hunting pressures and much of the species habitat has been destroyed through deforestation. Although officially protected since 1958, occasional recreational hunting of this elusive species still occurs. Due to difficulties locating and capturing the species, no genetic research has previously been performed using samples obtained from Trinidad. All previous research studies have been conducted using biological materials obtained from captive birds outside Trinidad and island data has never been obtained or compared. The genetic diversity of the remaining population was therefore examined through the investigation of mitochondrial haplotypes, pairwise comparison and SNP analysis. With the intention of assisting the protection of this endangered species by the location of remaining areas of habitation, methods of genetic identification were established for the Trinidad Piping guan utilising non-invasive feather samples. Species specific primers were created in the regions of the ND2 and cyt b genes of the mitochondrial genome to identify Pipile pipile. Species detection was further verified with the use of PCR-RFLP of the same gene regions digested with BsaXI, EcoRV and BsrDI. This combined approach allowed the separation of closely related taxa based on single inter-species SNPs. Confirmation of species identification was subsequently performed through the use of forensically informative nucleotide sequencing. The established methodologies were used in the current study to correct the classification of a UK breeding population of Piping guans thought to be Pipile pipile and to identify Trinidad field samples. These detection methods have implications for ecological studies through the location of populations from trace evidence collected in the field. In addition this method could be used to assist Trinidadian police forces in the identification of bushmeats or simply act as a deterrent to hunters. The sequence data obtained in the present study were also used to re-assess the phylogeny of Piping guans. As genetic sequence from a true island bird was previously unstudied, differences between phylogenies created using non-island and island bird data sets were examined. Combined analysis was performed on 1884bp of the ND2 and cyt b genes and placement of Trinidad Piping guan was found to differ from that which has been previously published.