Ichthyological Research

, Volume 59, Issue 2, pp 113–123 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeny and intraspecific structure of loaches (genera Cobitis and Misgurnus) from the Far East region of Russia and some conclusions on their systematics

  • Anabel Perdices
  • Victor Vasil’ev
  • Ekaterina Vasil’eva
Full Paper


Russian Far East loaches of the genera Cobitis and Misgurnus are among members of the family Cobitidae with poorly understood systematics. In this study we present phylogenetic hypotheses based on mitochondrial (cytochrome b) and nuclear (RAG-1) sequences. All analyses recovered comparable topological phylogenies, and all data sets supported the non-monophyly of the genera Cobitis and Misgurnus. Both genera are represented by multiple lineages that in some cases do not correspond to the species described. We found some phylogenetic incongruities for the genus Misgurnus (M. mohoity and M. anguillicaudatus) that are explained by ancient hybridization, as was suggested previously for M. anguillicaudatus. The revealed phylogenetic relationships suggest that Paramisgurnus should be treated as a synonym of Misgurnus and M. bipartitus as a synonym of M. mohoity. All analyses recovered C. choii as a member of the genus Cobitis, confirming previous taxonomic conclusions. Most of the molecular lineages found follow currently recognized taxa with some exceptions, such as M. anguillicaudatus and C. lutheri. Phylogenetic relationships recover several unrelated lineages of M. anguillicaudatus and suggest additional studies to solve current taxonomic uncertainty. We found that C. lutheri is a non-natural group that contains two unrelated lineages: specimens of C. lutheri from the Far East of Russia collected close to the type locality and a second lineage with specimens of C. lutheri from Korea, the identification of which must be revised. The study provides evidence of the presence of the Far East species M. nikolskyi in Sakhalin Island, but simultaneously shows conspicuous genetic distinctiveness between the island and the mainland populations.


Cobitidae Cytochrome b RAG1 Taxonomy Amur River Sakhalin Island 



This study was partially supported by project ref. no. CGL2007-61010 of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Spain), by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant no. 09-04-00211), by the Programs of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Dynamics of Gene Pools of Populations”, and the Program of Complex Investigations in the Amur River Basin FEB RAS. We thank P. Ochoa for the molecular work done at the Laboratory of Molecular Systematics at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, CSIC (Madrid (Spain), and Dr. S.N. Safronov from Sakhalin University for the specimens of mud loaches from Sakhalin Island. We are grateful to Dr. K. Saitoh and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved this manuscript.

Supplementary material

10228_2011_259_MOESM1_ESM.doc (152 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 (DOC 152 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Ichthyological Society of Japan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anabel Perdices
    • 1
  • Victor Vasil’ev
    • 2
  • Ekaterina Vasil’eva
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biodiversity and Evolutionary BiologyNational Museum of Natural History (CSIC)MadridSpain
  2. 2.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, RASMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Zoological Museum of the Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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