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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2005 Jul;36(1):135-53. Epub 2005 Feb 5.

Relationships among characiform fishes inferred from analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences.

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  • 1Division of Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., New York, NY 10024-5192, USA.

Abstract

Suprafamilial relationships among characiform fishes and implications for the taxonomy and biogeographic history of the Characiformes were investigated by parsimony analysis of four nuclear and two mitochondrial genes across 124 ingroup and 11 outgroup taxa. Simultaneous analysis of 3660 aligned base pairs from the mitochondrial 16S and cytochrome b genes and the nuclear recombination activating gene (RAG2), seven in absentia (sia), forkhead (fkh), and alpha-tropomyosin (trop) gene loci confirmed the non-monophyly of the African and Neotropical assemblages and corroborated many suprafamilial groups proposed previously on the basis of morphological features. The African distichodontids plus citharinids were strongly supported as a monophyletic Citharinoidei that is the sistergroup to all other characiforms, which form a monophyletic Characoidei composed of two large clades. The first represents an assemblage of both African and Neotropical taxa, wherein a monophyletic African Alestidae is sister to a smaller clade comprised of the Neotropical families Ctenolucidae, Lebiasinidae, and the African Hepsetidae, with that assemblage sister to a strictly Neotropical clade comprised of the Crenuchidae and Erythrinidae. The second clade within the Characoidei is strictly Neotropical and includes all other Characiformes grouped into two well supported major clades. The first, corresponding to a traditional definition of the Characidae, is congruent with some groupings previously supported by morphological evidence. The second clade comprises a monophyletic Anostomoidea that is sister to a clade formed by the families Hemiodontidae, Parodontidae, and Serrasalmidae, with that assemblage, in turn, the sistergroup of the Cynodontidae. Serrasalmidae, traditionally regarded as a subfamily of Characidae, was recovered as the sistergroup of (Anostomoidea (Parodontidae+Hemiodontidae)) and the family Cynodontidae was recovered with strong support as the sistergroup to this assemblage. Our results reveal three instances of trans-continental sistergroup relationships and, in light of the fossil evidence, suggest that marine dispersal cannot be ruled out a priori and that a simple model of vicariance does not readily explain the biogeographic history of the characiform fishes.

PMID:
15904862
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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