Molecular and karyotypic phylogeography in the Neotropical Hoplias malabaricus (Erythrinidae) fish in eastern Brazil

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The sedentary, predatory characin Hoplias malabaricus has one of the widest distributions of freshwater fishes in South America and is characterized by seven karyomorphs (A–G) that occur in sympatric and allopatric populations. Karyotypical patterns of variation in wild populations have been interpreted as evidence of multiple lineages within this nominal species, a possibility that may limit the validity of experimental data for particular karyomorphs. This study used the phylogeographic and genealogical concordance between cytogenetic (N = 49) and molecular (mitochondrial DNA) (N = 73) data on 17 samples, collected in 12 basins from south-eastern and north-eastern Brazil, to assess the systematic value of cytogenetic data. Cytogenetic patterns show a sex chromosome system in the 2n = 40F karyomorph. Molecular and cytogenetic data indicate a long, independent evolutionary history of karyomorphs and a coastal origin of continental populations in south-eastern Brazil. The lack of fit with molecular clock expectations of divergence between groups is likely to be due to strong demographic fluctuations during the evolution of this species complex. The results indicate that karyotypical identification provides a reliable baseline for placing experimental studies on Hoplias spp. in a phylogenetic context.

Keywords: South America; freshwater fish; in situ hybridization; molecular clock; mtDNA; repetitive DNAs

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Laboratório de Sistemática Molecular Beagle, Departamento de Biologia Animal, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000 Viçosa, MG, Brazil 2: Rua Edgard Coutens de Menezes, 47. 28970-000 Pontinha, Araruama, RJ, Brazil 3: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Departamento de Genética e Evolução, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, São Carlos, SP, Brazil 4: Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, Laboratório Genética Animal, PCG, Parque Estação Biológica, Final Av. W/5 Norte, Brasília, DF, Brazil

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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