, Volume 785, Issue 1, pp 47–59 | Cite as

Dressing down: convergent reduction of the mental disc in Garra (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in the Middle East

  • I. Hashemzadeh Segherloo
  • A. Abdoli
  • S. Eagderi
  • H. R. Esmaeili
  • G. Sayyadzadeh
  • L. Bernatchez
  • E. Hallerman
  • M. F. Geiger
  • M. Özulug
  • J. Laroche
  • J. Freyhof
Primary Research Paper


In the Middle East, species of Garra are believed to have invaded the area in two independent waves from the Indo-Malayan biogeographic region. This hypothesis is based on the structure of the mental disc, a unique specialization of the lower lip, which is believed to be an adaptation to fast-flowing waters. While several species have such a mental disc, others completely lack a mental disc, being adapted to slow-moving water or to subterranean life. In this study, the phylogenetic relationships of Middle Eastern Garra species, including 16 described and 4 undescribed species, were analysed using mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I sequences. The results are concordant with traditional hypotheses on two invasion events; however, these invasion events are independent from the presence, absence or shape of the mental disc. We postulate convergent reduction of the mental disc in 5–6 independent lineages of Garra in the Middle East.


COI Cyprinidae Labeonin Mental disc reduction Middle East 



The authors thank Guillaume Côté and Janine Schmidt for DNA extraction and sequence library preparation. This study is a product of the FREDIE project, financed in the SAW program by the Leibniz Association (SAW-2011-ZFMK-3;, an NSERC (Canada) Discovery grant ( to L.B., grant no. 688M1GRD94 from Shahr-e-Kord University ( to I.H., a grant from Shiraz University ( to H.R.E., a grant from Shahid Beheshti University ( to A.A., and a grant from Istanbul University ( to M.O.

Supplementary material

10750_2016_2902_MOESM1_ESM.docx (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 22 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Hashemzadeh Segherloo
    • 1
  • A. Abdoli
    • 2
  • S. Eagderi
    • 3
  • H. R. Esmaeili
    • 4
  • G. Sayyadzadeh
    • 4
  • L. Bernatchez
    • 5
  • E. Hallerman
    • 6
  • M. F. Geiger
    • 7
  • M. Özulug
    • 8
  • J. Laroche
    • 5
  • J. Freyhof
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Fisheries and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources and Earth SciencesShahr-e-Kord UniversityShahr-e-KordIran
  2. 2.Department of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management, Environmental Science Research InstituteShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of Fisheries, Faculty of Natural ResourcesUniversity of TehranKarajIran
  4. 4.Department of Biology, College of SciencesShiraz UniversityShirazIran
  5. 5.Institut de Biologie Intégrative et des Systèmes (IBIS), Pavillon Charles-Eugène-MarchandUniversité LavalQuebec CityCanada
  6. 6.Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, College of Natural Resources and EnvironmentVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  7. 7.Zoological Research Museum A. Koenig - Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity, Foundation under Public LawBonnGermany
  8. 8.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceIstanbul UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  9. 9.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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