Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 297–314 | Cite as

Ancient Divergence in Bathypelagic Lake Tanganyika Deepwater Cichlids: Mitochondrial Phylogeny of the Tribe Bathybatini

  • Stephan Koblmüller
  • Nina Duftner
  • Cyprian Katongo
  • Harris Phiri
  • Christian Sturmbauer
Article

Abstract

The cichlid species flock of Lake Tanganyika represents a polyphyletic assemblage of eight ancestral lineages, which colonized the emerging lake independently. Our study is focused on one of these lineages, the Bathybatini, a tribe of specialized piscivorous cichlids of the deep pelagic zone. By analyzing three mtDNA gene segments of all eight species of the tribe and two species of the closely related Trematocarini, we propose on the basis of a linearized tree analysis that the Bathybatini comprise two distinct lineages, the genera Hemibates and Bathybates, that seeded the primary lacustrine Tanganyika radiation independently. The genus Hemibates is likely to represent a distinct lineage that emerged simultaneously with the tribe Trematocarini and the genus Bathybates and should be therefore treated as a distinct tribe. Within the genus Bathybates, B. minor clearly represents the most ancestral split and is likely to have diverged from the remaining species in the course of the “primary lacustrine Tanganyika radiation” during which also the radiations of the Lamprologini and the H-lineage took place. The remaining “large” Bathybates species also diversified almost simultaneously and in step with the diversification of other Tanganyikan lineages—the Limnochromini and Cyprichromini—with B. graueri occupying the most ancestral branch, suggesting that these were induced by the same environmental changes. The lack of geographic color morphs suggests that competition and resource partitioning, rather than allopatric speciation, promoted speciation within the genus Bathybates.

Keywords

Adaptive radiation mtDNA sequences Control region Cytochrome b NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 Resource partitioning 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank L. Makasa, R. Sinyinza, and the team at the Mpulungu Station of the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, and Cooperatives, Republic of Zambia, for their assistance during sample collection. We are grateful to J. Snoeks (Africa Museum Tervuren) for identification of “problematic” specimens and to E. Verheyen (Royal Belgian Museum of Natural Sciences) for providing additional tissue samples. We are further indebted to K. Sefc, whose constructive comments helped to improve this paper. S.K., N.D., and C.S. were supported by the Austrian Science Foundation (Grant P15239). S.K. received a DOC fellowship and N.D. a DOC-FFORTE (Women in Research and Technology) fellowship, both provided by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. S.K. and N.D. were further supported by the University of Graz. C.K. got support from the OEAD and the University of Zambia.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Koblmüller
    • 1
  • Nina Duftner
    • 1
  • Cyprian Katongo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Harris Phiri
    • 3
  • Christian Sturmbauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyKarl-Franzens-University of GrazGrazAustria
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  3. 3.Department of Research and Specialist Services, Fisheries Research DivisionMinistry of Agriculture, Food and FisheriesMpulunguZambia

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