Comparative analysis of own sequence data for the mtDNA control region (926 to 928 bp) from eight-barbel loaches inhabiting eight localities in the Amur River basin (4) and the Sea of Japan (4) and the GeneBank/NCBI data for the Lefua individuals from the other regions of East Asia showed that eight-barbel loaches from Primorskii krai water basins were marked by a specific group of mtDNA haplotypes. This finding is considered as supporting the species status of L. pleskei. Genetic distances within L. pleskei are small (on average 0.35%) and close to those within L. nikkonis (on average 0.48%). The distances between this species pair are the least (on average 2.15%) among all other pairs compared. In MP, ML, and Bayesian trees, L. pleskei and L. nikkonis haplotypes formed a common clade with high statistically significant support. In all tree variants, L. costata mtDNA haplotypes were located out of the group of interest. A clade consisting of highly diverged lineages of Lefua sp. and L. echigonia haplotypes occupied a basal position. The mtDNA haplotypes of L. pleskei and L. costata from the Amur River basin were evolutionary young and derived from the haplotypes found in these species from the Sea of Japan (L. pleskei) or the Yellow Sea (L. costata) basins. It is thereby suggested that both species rather recently migrated into the Amur River system. According to the molecular clock data, basal diversification of the eight-barbel loach lineages took place at the end of middle Miocene (about 11 to 12 Myr ago), while divergence of L. pleskei and L. nikkonis ancestral forms probably occurred approximately, 5 Myr ago. Since all main lineages of eight-barbel loaches were found in the Sea of Japan basin (continental coastline and the islands), the divergence order and dispersal patterns of the Lefua species might have been largely determined by the geological development pattern of this water body and the adjacent territories.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 24, 2008
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