, Volume 47, Issue 9, pp 974-979

Lake Tanganyika as an evolutionary reservoir of old lineages of East African cichlid fishes: Inferences from allozyme data

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Abstract

Genetic differences between 20 species of cichlid fish, representing all the 12 tribes proposed for the cichlid fish fauna of Lake Tanganyika, were studied by allozyme electrophoresis. Most species were genetically very differentiated from each other. Phylogenetic analysis based on the allozyme data indicated that at least seven old, ancestral lineages have contributed to the present cichlid fauna of the lake. Lake Tanganyika, the oldest of the rift-valley lakes, can be recognized as an evolutionary reservoir of major lineages of cichlids in East Africa.