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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2009 Sep;52(3):735-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.05.017. Epub 2009 May 22.

Phylogeny of cardinalfishes (Teleostei: Gobiiformes: Apogonidae) and the evolution of visceral bioluminescence.

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Vertebrates-Ichthyology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA.


The cardinalfishes (Apogonidae) are a diverse clade of small, mostly reef-dwelling fishes, for which a variety of morphological data have not yielded a consistent phylogeny. We use DNA sequence to hypothesize phylogenetic relationships within Apogonidae and among apogonids and other acanthomorph families, to examine patterns of evolution including the distribution of a visceral bioluminescence system. In conformance with previous studies, Apogonidae is placed in a clade with Pempheridae, Kurtidae, Leiognathidae, and Gobioidei. The apogonid genus Pseudamia is recovered outside the remainder of the family, not as sister to the superficially similar genus Gymnapogon. Species sampled from the Caribbean and Western Atlantic (Phaeoptyx, Astrapogon, and some Apogon species) form a clade, as do the larger-bodied Glossamia and Cheilodipterus. Incidence of visceral bioluminescence is found scattered throughout the phylogeny, independently for each group in which it is present. Examination of the fine structure of the visceral bioluminescence system through histology shows that light organs exhibit a range of morphologies, with some composed of complex masses of tubules (Siphamia, Pempheris, Parapriacanthus) and others lacking tubules but containing chambers formed by folds of the visceral epithelium (Acropoma, Archamia, Jaydia, and Rhabdamia). Light organs in Siphamia, Acropoma, Pempheris and Parapriacanthus are distinct from but connected to the gut; those in Archamia, Jaydia, and Rhabdamia are simply portions of the intestinal tract, and are little differentiated from the surrounding tissues. The presence or absence of symbiotic luminescent bacteria does not correlate with light organ structure; the tubular light organs of Siphamia and chambered tubes of Acropoma house bacteria, those in Pempheridae and the other Apogonidae do not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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