• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of procbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Proc Biol Sci. Apr 7, 1999; 266(1420): 677–685.
PMCID: PMC1689819

Molecular phylogenetic evidence for the evolution of specialization in anemonefishes.

Abstract

Anemonefishes (genera: Amphiprion and Premnas; family Pomacentridae) are a group of 28 species of coral reef fishes that are found in obligate symbiosis with large tropical sea anemones. A phylogenetic hypothesis based on morphological analyses of this group suggests that the ancestral anemonefish was a generalist with similar morphology to other pomacentrids, and that it gave rise to other anemonefish species that were more specialized for living with particular species of host anemones. To test this hypothesis we constructed a molecular phylogeny for the anemonefishes by sequencing 1140 base pairs of the cytochrome b gene and 522 base pairs of the 16S rRNA gene for six species of anemonefishes (representatives of all subgenera and species complexes) and two other pomacentrid species. Three methods of phylogenetic analysis all strongly supported the conclusion that anemonefishes are a monophyletic group. The molecular phylogeny differs from the tree based on morphological data in that the two species of specialized anemonefishes (Premnas biaculeatus and Amphiprion ocellaris) were assigned to a basal position within the clade, and the extreme host generalist (Amphiprion clarkii) to a more derived position. Thus, the initial anemonefish ancestors were probably host specialists and subsequent speciation events led to a combination of generalist and specialist groups. Further phylogenetic studies of additional anemonefish species are required to substantiate this hypothesis.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (223K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Brown WM, Prager EM, Wang A, Wilson AC. Mitochondrial DNA sequences of primates: tempo and mode of evolution. J Mol Evol. 1982;18(4):225–239. [PubMed]
  • Friesen VL, Anderson DJ. Phylogeny and evolution of the Sulidae (Aves:Pelecaniformes): a test of alternative modes of speciation. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1997 Apr;7(2):252–260. [PubMed]
  • Gutell RR. Collection of small subunit (16S- and 16S-like) ribosomal RNA structures: 1994. Nucleic Acids Res. 1994 Sep;22(17):3502–3507. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Howell N. Evolutionary conservation of protein regions in the protonmotive cytochrome b and their possible roles in redox catalysis. J Mol Evol. 1989 Aug;29(2):157–169. [PubMed]
  • Hu G, Thilly WG. Evolutionary trail of the mitochondrial genome as based on human 16S rDNA pseudogenes. Gene. 1994 Sep 30;147(2):197–204. [PubMed]
  • Irwin DM, Kocher TD, Wilson AC. Evolution of the cytochrome b gene of mammals. J Mol Evol. 1991 Feb;32(2):128–144. [PubMed]
  • Kimura M. A simple method for estimating evolutionary rates of base substitutions through comparative studies of nucleotide sequences. J Mol Evol. 1980 Dec;16(2):111–120. [PubMed]
  • McMillan WO, Palumbi SR. Concordant evolutionary patterns among Indo-West Pacific butterflyfishes. Proc Biol Sci. 1995 May 22;260(1358):229–236. [PubMed]
  • Maidak BL, Olsen GJ, Larsen N, Overbeek R, McCaughey MJ, Woese CR. The RDP (Ribosomal Database Project). Nucleic Acids Res. 1997 Jan 1;25(1):109–111. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Martin AP, Naylor GJ, Palumbi SR. Rates of mitochondrial DNA evolution in sharks are slow compared with mammals. Nature. 1992 May 14;357(6374):153–155. [PubMed]
  • Roe KJ, Conkel D, Lydeard C. Molecular systematics of Middle American cichlid fishes and the evolution of trophic-types in 'Cichlasoma (Amphilophus)' and 'C. (Thorichthys)'. Mol Phylogenet Evol. 1997 Jun;7(3):366–376. [PubMed]
  • Saitou N, Nei M. The neighbor-joining method: a new method for reconstructing phylogenetic trees. Mol Biol Evol. 1987 Jul;4(4):406–425. [PubMed]
  • Tamura K. Estimation of the number of nucleotide substitutions when there are strong transition-transversion and G+C-content biases. Mol Biol Evol. 1992 Jul;9(4):678–687. [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...