Mitochondrial DNA variability to explore the relationship complexity of Schizothoracine (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)


Despite numerous studies on the taxonomy of a highly complex group of schizothoracine (snow trouts), with over five recognized species from Kashmir, India (Schizothorax niger, Schizothorax esocinus, Schizothorax plagiostomus, Schizothorax curvifrons and Schizothorax labiatus) based on traditional morphological data, the relationships between these species is poorly understood and the taxonomic validity is still under debate. To resolve the evolutionary relationships among these species, we sequenced mitochondrial fragments, including 16Sr RNA, Cytb and the D-loop. Separate analyses of 16S and Cytb showed intermixing of the species and 16S was found more conserved than Cytb. The D-loop was found highly variable and showed length variation between and within species. Length variation was observed in di-nucleotide (TA)n microsatellite repeats with a variable number of repeat units (n = 7–14) that did not show heteroplasmy. Central conserved sequence blocks (CSBs) in D-loop sequences were found comparable to other vertebrate species. All phylogenetic reconstructions recovered the focal taxa as a monophyletic clade within the schizothoracines. Analyses with combined mitochondrial data sets showed close genetic relationships of all the five species. In addition to a close relationship between S. niger and S. curvifrons, two distinct groupings of S. ecoscinus and S. plagiostomus were supported by all the analyses. This study gives an insight into molecular phylogeny of the species and improves our understanding of historical and taxonomic relationships derived from morphological and ecological studies.

DOI: 10.1007/s10709-014-9797-y

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@article{Ahmad2014MitochondrialDV, title={Mitochondrial DNA variability to explore the relationship complexity of Schizothoracine (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)}, author={Syed Mudasir Ahmad and Farooz Ahmad Bhat and Masood-ul Hassan Balkhi and Bilal Ahmad Bhat}, journal={Genetica}, year={2014}, volume={142}, pages={507-516} }