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Title: Systematic biology of gymnotiform and mormyriform electric fishes: Phylogenetic relationships, molecular clocks and rates of evolution in the mitochondrial rRNA genes
Authors: Alves-Gomes, José Antônio
Keywords: Africa
Genetic Difference
Mitochondrial Genetics
South America
Issue Date: 1999
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Journal of Experimental Biology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 202, Número 10, Pags. 1167-1183
Abstract: The phylogenetic relationships of both African and South American electric fish orders are reviewed at their intra-ordinal level taking into consideration recent studies in which cladistic principles have been employed. Several concordant topologies emerge from the different data sets, but some unsettled issues still remain. From the studies available, a consensus topology has been suggested for the Mormyriformes and for the Gymnotiformes. Subsequently, the evolutionary relationships of these two electric fish clades are considered within each respective superorder, i.e. in relation to the other osteoglossomorph and ostariophysan orders. The inter-ordinal phylogenies are used as a framework to test the molecular clock hypothesis with two gene fragments of the mitochondrial genome. Gymnotiformes, Siluriformes and Characiformes are accumulating mutations at the same pace in relation to their respective outgroups, but for all the other combinations of sister clades tested the molecular clock can be statistically rejected. Fossil records are then surveyed and used to calibrate absolute rates of genetic differentiation for each main lineage (orders) of both osteoglossomorphs and ostariophysans. The most conserved regions (stems) of the 12S and 16S gene fragments used are evolving at an average rate of 0.123% 106 years-1 for the osteoglossomorphs and 0.137% 106 years-1 for the ostariophysans, with no significant difference between these two values. The rate of mutation in the loops, the faster-evolving segments, estimated for closely related electric fish taxa is 0.82% 106 years-1 for four Brienomyrus species and 1.01% 106 years-1 for the four eigenmanniid genera. When the entire molecule (loops + stems) is considered, the rate of mutation in both mormyriforms and gymnotiforms converges to a rounded value of 0.23% 106 years-1.
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