Evolutionary conservation of microsatellite flanking regions and their use in resolving the phylogeny of cichlid fishes (Pisces: Perciformes)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1996
Authors:D. M. Vollmer, Zardoya, R. , Craddock, C. , Streelman, J. T. , Karl, S. , Meyer, A.
Journal:Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edimburgh. Section B (Biology)
Date Published:1996/11/22/
Keywords:Africa, cichlidae, conservation, Evolution, genetics, Haplochromini, lake tanganyika, Lamprologini, Linkage (Genetics), Madagascar, Microsatellites, neotropical, phylogeny, Tilapiini

A phylogeny of the principal lineages of cichlid fishes and two other fish families of the suborder Labroidei was based on phylogenetic information from DNA sequences of the flanking region of a (CA)n microsatellite locus. Microsatellite (CA)n containing clones from a genomic library of an African cichlid fish from Lake Tanganyika, Tropheus moorii, were sequenced and primers for the polymerase chain reaction designed. All primers amplified the homologous microsatellite loci in many more than the source species and one microsatellite flanking locus (TmoM27) was particularly conserved and amplified in several lineages of perciform fishes that diverged more than 80-100 million years ago. Despite the extensive level of evolutionary conservation of this microsatellite flanking region (MFR), this nuclear region contained reliable phylogenetic information in the form of both point and length mutations. A phylogeny of cichlids based on this MFR agrees with other phylogenetic hypotheses based on morphological, mitochondrial, and anonymous nuclear DNA. Madagascan and Indian cichlids are found to be paraphyletic and the most basal group in the family Cichlidae. African and Neotropical cichlids are both monophyletic and sistergroups. Within African lineages, the East African cichlids are most likely to be monophyletic and the West African cichlids are probably paraphyletic and basal to all African species. The focal microsatellite locus contained much variation in (CA)n repeats in African cichlids and in surfperches (up to 64 repeats), but was short (with only 2-4 repeats) and almost invariant in Neotropical cichlids. The design of phylogenetically highly versatile MFR-primers will be of use not only for phylogeny reconstruction among families of perciform fishes, but also for population-level work in the thousands of species belonging to this highly species-rich suborder of fishes

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