, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 589-597

Evolutionary analysis of cytochrome b sequences in some perciformes: Evidence for a slower rate of evolution than in mammals

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Abstract

To obtain information relative to the phylogenesis and microevolutionary rate of fish mitochondrial DNA, the nucleotide sequence of cytochrome b gene in seven fish species belonging to the order of Perciformes was determined. Sequence analysis showed that fish mitochondrial DNA has a nucleotide compositional bias similar to that of sharks but lower compared to mammals and birds. Quantitative evolutionary analysis, carried out by using a markovian stochastic model, clarifies some phylogenetic relationships within the Perciformes order, particularly in the Scombridae family, and between Perciformes, Gadiformes, Cypriniformes, and Acipenseriformes. The molecular clock of mitochondrial DNA was calibrated with the nucleotide substitution rate of cytochrome b gene in five shark species having divergence times inferred from paleontological estimates. The results of such analysis showed that Acipenseriformes diverged from Perciformes by about 200 MY, that the Perciformes common ancestor dates back to 150 MY, and that fish mitochondrial DNA has a nucleotide substitution rate three to five times lower than that of mammals.

Correspondence to: C. Saccone
The nucleotide sequences reported in this paper have been submitted to the GenBank/EMBL Data Library with accession numbers X81562 (Sarda sarda), X81563 (Thunnus thynnus), X81564 (Scomber scombrus), X81565 (Oreochromis mossambicus), X81566 (Dicentrarchus labrax), X81567 (Boops hoops), X81568 (Trachurus trachurus)