Phylogeny of Opsanus spp. (Batrachoididae) inferred from multiple mitochondrial-DNA sequences
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Species of the toadfish genus Opsanus are increasingly used as experimental organisms in biomedicine and evolutionary/ecological physiology. Despite their importance, little is known of the phylogenetic relationships among Opsanus species. DNA sequence data for portions of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, cytochrome oxidase I and cytochrome b genes were generated and analyzed from the four recognized Opsanus species and three outgroup taxa. Results of these analyses indicate an evolutionarily rapid divergence of three lineages within the genus. O. beta and O. pardus were resolved within the same lineage, and could not be distinguished with these mitochondrial sequence data. These data and paleoclimatic theory support a hypothesis of speciation based on the formation of allopatric populations during periods of elevated water temperature in the northern Caribbean.
KeywordsWater Temperature Sequence Data Phylogenetic Relationship Cytochrome Oxidase Elevated Water
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