Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 12: 109, 2002.
© 2003 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
Reply to Birstein, DeSalle and Doukakis
Roland Billard & Guillaume Lecointre
Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Laboratoire d’lchtyologie, 43 rue Cuvier, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
Accepted 4 November 2002
In their note Drs. Birstein, DeSalle and Doukakis
gave additional information and clariﬁed the origin
of the material they used in their sturgeon phylogeny
study. We have suggested (Billard and Lecointre,
2001) that the position of Huso huso in the mtDNA
tree may have resulted from hybridization between
Acipenser ruthenus and H. huso: the specimens
sampled for the molecular phylogeny would have had
a morphology close to Huso huso while retaining
mitochondria from their A. ruthenus mother. Hybrids
between H. huso and A. ruthenus have been reported
in natural populations (Birstein et al., 1997) and
created experimentally by Nikolyukin. Drs. Birstein,
DeSalle and Doukakis state that Nikolyukin “stressed
in his papers that such hybrids had never been found
in natural populations”. We suppose, although it is not
clear, that this claim refers to hybridization between
an A. ruthenus female and H. huso male. We accept
the point that there is no report in nature of A. r.x
H. h. hybrid which would possess A. ruthenus mtDNA
material. We still think that the phylogenetic position
of Huso inferred from mitochondrial data remains to
be tested with nuclear genes.
Billard, R. and Lecointre, G. (2001) Biology and conservation of the
sturgeons and paddelﬁsh. Rev. Fish Biol. and Fish 10, 355–392.
Birstein, V.J., Hanner, R. and DeSalle, R. (1997) Phylogeny of the
Acipenseriformes: cytogenetic and molecular approaches. Env.
Biol. Fish 48, 127–155.