Evolution of the mitochondrial DNA control region in the mbuna (Cichlidae) species flock of Lake Malawi, East Africa

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1997
Authors:I. Kornfield, Parker A.
Journal:Journal of Molecular Evolution
Volume:45
Pagination:70-83
Accession Number:4316264
Keywords:Article, Article Geographic Terms: Africa, Malawi, Article Subject Terms: Allopatric populations, Cell organelles, cichlids, Classification systems, DNA, east africa, Endemic species, Evolution, Evolutionary, Evolutionary genetics, G 07260 Taxonomy, systematics and, G 07371 Fish, genetics, L., Mitochondrial DNA, phylogeny, population genetics, Q1 01345 Genetics and evolution, Taxonomic Terms: Cichlidae
Abstract:

Considerable controversy has surrounded the application of mitochondrial DNA data to reconstruction of evolutionary relationships among the endemic cichlids of Lake Malawi. Central to this debate has been the issue of whether lineage sorting is complete, and thus whether these data actually reflect species phylogeny, or simply gene genealogy. Review of all mtDNA control region sequences available for members of one monophyletic subset of this species flock, the Malawi rockfishes, or mbuna, strongly indicates that lineage sorting is incomplete: Character-based analyses of these sequences reconstruct gene, not species, interrelationships. Analysis of the pattern of nucleotide substitutions differentiating these mtDNA alleles suggests that pyrimidine residues undergo transition substitutions more often than do purines. Estimation of the magnitude of derived sequence differentiation in light of the reconstructed gene genealogy suggests that the mbuna may be of considerably more recent vintage than previous molecular characterizations have indicated.

Alternate Journal:J. Mol. Evol.

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