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Historical biogeography reveals new independent evolutionary lineages in the Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus species-group (Actinopterygii: Catostomidae)

AuthorsCorona-Santiago, Diushi Keri; Domínguez-Domínguez, Omar; Tovar-Mora, Llanet; Pardons-Blas, José Ramón; Herrerías-Diego, Yvonne; Pérez-Rodríguez, Rodolfo; Doadrio, Ignacio
Evolutionary history
Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus species-group
Biogeographic patters
Independent evolutionary history
Sierra madre occidental
Issue Date20-Nov-2018
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationBMC Evolutionary Biology 18(1): 173 (2018)
Abstract[Background]: The Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus species-group is a group of freshwater fishes distributed in endo- and exorheic drainage basins in the Mexican Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range system and central North Mexico. The geological history of this region is considered an important factor in explaining the evolutionary history of low vagility animals like freshwaters fishes. The aim of this study was to examine the phylogenetic relationships and describe the evolutionary history of the species-group. We hypothesized that the genetic structure and distribution of the main clades of Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus are associated with the geological history of Northern Mexico. To this end, we obtained DNA sequences of mitochondrial and nuclear genes and performed phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses. Divergence time estimation and ancestral area reconstruction were also carried out to propose a biogeographical hypothesis, and species boundaries within the species-group were also tested.
[Results]: We identified four clades within the Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus species-group in both markers. Divergence ranged from 5.9% to 9.2% for cytb and 0.1% to 0.9% for GHI. We observed significant genetic structure and no shared haplotypes between clades. We estimated that the clades diverged during the last 5.1 Myr, with a biogeographic scenario suggesting eight vicariant and four dispersal events through the historic range of the species-group. We found that the best species-delimitation model is when four species are assumed, which correspond to the main clades. We identified nine evolutionary significance units (ESUs), pertinent to the conservation of the group, each representing populations present in distinct drainage basins.
[Conclusions]: The evolutionary history of the Pantosteus plebeius-nebuliferus species-group is characterized by vicariant post-dispersal processes, linked to geological changes in the Sierra Madre Occidental and central Northern Mexico since the Pliocene. This is congruent with biogeographic patterns described for other co-distributed fish species. We propose a new phylogenetic hypothesis for the species-group, clarifying the taxonomy of this evolutionarily complex group. Our results suggest that the species-group consists of at least four clades with independent evolutionary histories, two of which may represent new undescribed species. Our identification of ESUs provides a basis upon which conservation measures can be developed for the species-group.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-018-1286-y
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