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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2009 Oct;53(1):258-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.06.009. Epub 2009 Jun 18.

Mitogenomic evaluation of the unique facial nerve pattern as a phylogenetic marker within the percifom fishes (Teleostei: Percomorpha).

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The Kyoto University Museum, Yoshida Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan.


Percomorpha has been described as the "(unresolved) bush at the top" of the teleostean phylogenies and its intrarelationships are intrinsically difficult to solve because of its huge diversity (>15,000 spp.) and ill-defined higher taxa. Patterns of facial nerves, such as those of the ramus lateralis accessorius (RLA), have been considered as one of the candidate characters to delimit a monophyletic group within the percomorphs. Six families of the suborder Percoidei (Arripidae, Dichistiidae, Kyphosidae, Terapontidae, Kuhliidae, and Oplegnathidae) and suborder Stromateoidei (including six families) share the unique pattern 10 of RLA and it has been suggested that those fishes form a monophyletic group across the two perciform suborders. To evaluate the usefulness of the RLA pattern 10 as a phylogenetic marker within the percomorphs, we newly determined whole mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequences for the 13 species having RLA pattern 10 and their putatively, closely-related species (5 spp.). Unambiguously aligned sequences (14,263 bp) from those 18 species plus 50 percomrphs and two outgroups (total 70 species) were subjected to partitioned maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. The resulting trees clearly indicated that there were at least two independent origins of the unique facial nerve pattern: one in a common ancestor of Kyphosidae, Terapontidae, Kuhliidae, and Oplegnathidae and another one in that of the percoid Arripidae and Stromateoidei. Thus further detailed anatomical studies are needed to clarify the homology of this character between the two lineages. It should be noted that the latter two taxa (Arripidae and Stromateoidei) formed an unexpected, highly-supported monophyletic group together with Scombridae and possibly Chiasmodontidae and Bramidae, all lacking RLA pattern 10 (the former two are members of other perciform suborders Scombroidei and Trachinoidei, respectively). This novel, trans-subordinal clade has never been suggested by any morphological studies, although they share a common ecological characteristic, dwelling in the pelagic realm and often associated with long-distance migrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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