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You are here: Home / Library / RBINS Staff Publications / Replicated evolution of trophic specializations in an endemic cichlid fish lineage from Lake Tanganyika.

L Rüber, E Verheyen, and A. Meyer (1999)

Replicated evolution of trophic specializations in an endemic cichlid fish lineage from Lake Tanganyika.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 96(18):10230–5.

The current phylogenetic hypothesis for the endemic Lake Tanganyika cichlid fishes of the tribe Eretmodini is based solely on morphology and suggests that more complex trophic morphologies derived only once from a less specialized ancestral condition. A molecular phylogeny of eretmodine cichlids based on partial mitochondrial DNA cytochrome b and control-region sequences was used to reconstruct the evolutionary sequence of trophic adaptations and to test alternative models of morphological divergence. The six mitochondrial lineages found disagree with the current taxonomy and the morphology-based phylogeny. Mitochondrial lineages with similar trophic morphologies are not grouped monophyletically but are typically more closely related to lineages with different trophic phenotypes currently assigned to other genera. Our results indicate multiple independent origins of similar trophic specializations in these cichlids. A pattern of repeated divergent morphological evolution becomes apparent when the phylogeography of the mitochondrial haplotypes is analyzed in the context of the geological and paleoclimatological history of Lake Tanganyika. In more than one instance within Lake Tanganyika, similar morphological divergence of dentitional traits occurred in sympatric species pairs. Possibly, resource-based divergent selective regimes led to resource partitioning and brought about similar trophic morphologies independently and repeatedly.

Animals, Burundi, Cytochrome b Group, Cytochrome b Group: genetics, Democratic Republic of the Congo, DNA, evolution, Fresh Water, Geography, Geological Phenomena, Geology, Mitochondrial, Mitochondrial: genetics, Molecular, Paleodontology, Paleontology, Perches, Perches: classification, Perches: genetics, Perches: physiology, phylogeny, Tanzania, Zambia
  • ISSN: 0027-8424

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