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Phylogeny of Antarctic dragonfishes (Bathydraconidae, Notothenioidei, Teleostei) and related families based on their anatomy and two mitochondrial genes

By Cyril - Posted on 17 April 2014

TitlePhylogeny of Antarctic dragonfishes (Bathydraconidae, Notothenioidei, Teleostei) and related families based on their anatomy and two mitochondrial genes
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsDerome N, Chen W-J, Dettaï A, Bonillo C, Lecointre G

Although Antarctic teleosts of the suborder Notothenioidei are well studied, the status of some families remains unclear because of limited taxonomic sampling and sometimes poor statistical support from molecular phylogenies. It is true for the Bathydraconidae, the sister-family of the famous haemoglobin-less icefishes, the Channichthyidae. The present study is aimed at clarifying bathydraconid phylogeny and the interrelationships of higher notothenioid families, taking nototheniids as the outgroup. For this purpose, about 300 positions in the mitochondrial control region, 750 positions in the cytochrome b, and a matrix of morphological characters were employed for separate and simultaneous phylogenetic analyses. We conclude that (1) molecular data strongly support the split of bathydraconids into three clades, here called the Bathydraconinae (Bathydraco, Prionodraco, Racovitzia), the Gymnodraconinae (Gymnodraco, Psilodraco, Acanthodraco), and the Cygnodraconinae (Cygnodraco, Gerlachea, Parachaenichthys). Interrelationships between these three and the Channichthyidae remain unclear. Molecular data support neither paraphyly nor monophyly of the bathydraconids, while morphology leads to the monophyly of the family based on the synapomorphic loss of the spinous dorsal fin; (2) The Channichthyidae, the Harpagiferidae, and the Artedidraconidae are monophyletic families; (3) the phylogeny of the haemoglobin-less channichthyids is completely resolved and congruent with the conclusions of Iwami (1985) based on anatomical characters; (4) The present molecular results as well as other molecular studies favour the hypothesis that harpagiferids are the sister-group of artedidraconids, though our morphological matrix puts harpagiferids as the sister-group of all other families on the basis of a single character. With regard to harpagiferid relationships, it is interesting to notice that, when analysed simultaneously, morphological characters are not automatically ''swamped'' within molecular ones: in the tree based on the simultaneous analysis of all available data, morphological characters impose their topology on molecules. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.