Most fishes of the perciform suborder Notothenioidei are endemic to the subzero marine waters of Antarctica. A number of remarkable physiological attributes allow them to inhabit this extreme environment; for example, the blood of almost all notothenioid species contains antifreeze glycopeptides. To establish a molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for these fishes, DNA sequences from two mitochondrial genes, portions of the 12S and 16S ribosomal genes (928 base pairs [bp]), were determined for 18 species. These belong to 15 genera in five families of the suborder. The DNA data suggest that two of these families are unnatural groups and consequently that the classification and phylogeny of this suborder is in need of revision. In terms of DNA variation, the Bovichtidae are a distantly related sister group to the other families of the suborder that includes the icefishes, the only vertebrates without hemoglobin. The fishes of the suborder (except the Bovichtidae) seem to have speciated rapidly, forming an adaptive radiation in the Antarctic waters. A phylogenetic analysis of published hemoglobin amino acid sequences for other notothenioid fishes supports these results from mtDNA. On the basis of molecular phylogeny, the evolution of antifreeze glycopeptides was studied. The age of the radiation of notothenioid fishes had been estimated to be at least 38 Mya. However, the level of mtDNA variation detected in notothenioid fishes appears to be too low to agree with this date of origin and might instead suggest a younger age (10-15 Mya). Alternatively, the low level of detected mtDNA variation would agree with the traditional old-age estimate if an extremely slow rate of mtDNA evolution is postulated for this group. This slow-rate hypothesis, if true, could be explained by decreased metabolic rates slowing down the tempo of molecular evolution.

MOLECULAR EVOLUTION AT SUBZERO TEMPERATURES - MITOCHONDRIAL AND NUCLEAR PHYLOGENIES OF FISHES FROM ANTARCTICA (SUBORDER POTOTHENIOIDEI), AND THE EVOLUTION OF ANTIFREEZE GLYCOPEPTIDES

BARGELLONI, LUCA;PATARNELLO, TOMASO;BATTAGLIA, BRUNO;
1994

Abstract

Most fishes of the perciform suborder Notothenioidei are endemic to the subzero marine waters of Antarctica. A number of remarkable physiological attributes allow them to inhabit this extreme environment; for example, the blood of almost all notothenioid species contains antifreeze glycopeptides. To establish a molecular phylogenetic hypothesis for these fishes, DNA sequences from two mitochondrial genes, portions of the 12S and 16S ribosomal genes (928 base pairs [bp]), were determined for 18 species. These belong to 15 genera in five families of the suborder. The DNA data suggest that two of these families are unnatural groups and consequently that the classification and phylogeny of this suborder is in need of revision. In terms of DNA variation, the Bovichtidae are a distantly related sister group to the other families of the suborder that includes the icefishes, the only vertebrates without hemoglobin. The fishes of the suborder (except the Bovichtidae) seem to have speciated rapidly, forming an adaptive radiation in the Antarctic waters. A phylogenetic analysis of published hemoglobin amino acid sequences for other notothenioid fishes supports these results from mtDNA. On the basis of molecular phylogeny, the evolution of antifreeze glycopeptides was studied. The age of the radiation of notothenioid fishes had been estimated to be at least 38 Mya. However, the level of mtDNA variation detected in notothenioid fishes appears to be too low to agree with this date of origin and might instead suggest a younger age (10-15 Mya). Alternatively, the low level of detected mtDNA variation would agree with the traditional old-age estimate if an extremely slow rate of mtDNA evolution is postulated for this group. This slow-rate hypothesis, if true, could be explained by decreased metabolic rates slowing down the tempo of molecular evolution.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/146883
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