Mitochondrial phylogeny of the Cyprichromini, a lineage of open-water cichlid fishes endemic to Lake Tanganyika, East Africa

Brandstätter,A.; Salzburger,W.; Sturmbauer,C.
We present a phylogeny of the Cyprichromini, a lineage of cichlid fishes from Lake Tanganyika, showing progressive adaptation towards pelagic life style. Our study is based upon three mitochondrial gene segments, 443bp of the control region, 402bp of the cytochrome b gene and the entire NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 gene (1047bp). The topologies obtained by different tree building methods subdivide the Cyprichromini into four distinct lineages: the Paracyprichromis-, the Cyprichromis zonatus-, the Cyprichromis microlepidotus-lineage, and a lineage comprising Cyprichromis pavo and Cyprichromis leptosoma. Our study thus corroborates the distinctness of C. zonatus which was recently described formally. Concerning ecology and mating behavior, a clear evolutionary trend towards progressive adaptation to the pelagic zone emerges during the evolution of the Cyprichromini. The linearized tree analysis further shows that the four lineages have split almost contemporaneously. The mean Kimura-2-parameter distance among the four lineages emerging from the primary radiation of the Cyprichromini amounts to 7.21% and is in close agreement to that previously found for the primary radiation of the tribe Tropheini (7.01%), a lineage of rock-dwelling cichlids endemic to Lake Tanganyika. To date, the influence of lake level fluctuations as promoters of diversification has been demonstrated only for rock-dwelling cichlids. Based on the agreeement in temporary patterns of diversification, we suggest that Pleistocene lake level changes have left a similar genetic imprint in a group of cichlid fishes that progressively colonized the open water during their radiation
Mol.Phylogenet.Evol. 2005 34(2):382-391
Tags: Africa; Austria; cytochrome B gene; Evolution; methods; phylogeny
PubMed: 15619449
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