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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008 Mar;46(3):1003-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2007.12.020. Epub 2008 Jan 1.

Molecular systematics of the Kakaducarididae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea).

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Australian Rivers Institute, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Qld. 4111, Australia.


The systematic relationships of the freshwater shrimp family, Kakaducarididae, were examined using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Combined nuclear (18S rDNA, 28S rDNA, Histone) and mitochondrial (16S rDNA) analyses placed the kakaducaridid genera, Kakaducaris and Leptopalaemon, as a strongly supported clade within the Palaemonidae, in a close relationship with the genus Macrobrachium. Monophyly of the Australian Kakaducarididae was strongly supported by the molecular data. Estimated net divergence times between Kakaducaris and Leptopalaemon using mitochondrial 16S rDNA equate to a late Miocene/Pliocene split. Within Leptopalaemon, each locality was distinct for mitochondrial COI haplotypes, suggesting long-term isolation or recent genetic bottlenecks, a lack of contemporary gene flow amongst sites and a small Ne. Mitochondrial groupings within Leptopalaemon were largely congruent with several previously recognised morphotypes. Estimated net divergence times between L. gagadjui and the new Leptopalaemon morphotypes equate to a split in the late Pliocene/early Pleistocene. The hypothesis that the Kakaducarididae is comprised of relict species in specialised ecological niches is not supported by the molecular data, which instead suggest a relatively recent origin for the group in northern Australia, sometime in the late Miocene or Pliocene.

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