Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 58, Issue 31, pp 3738–3746 | Cite as

Molecular phylogeny of European and African Barbus and their West Asian relatives in the Cyprininae (Teleostei: Cypriniformes) and orogenesis of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

  • Jing Wang
  • XiaoYun Wu
  • ZiMing Chen
  • ZhaoPing Yue
  • Wei Ma
  • ShanYuan Chen
  • Heng Xiao
  • Robert W. Murphy
  • YaPing Zhang
  • RuiGuang Zan
  • Jing Luo
Open Access
Article Ecology


The phylogenetic relationships of European and African Barbus and their West Asian relatives in Cyprininae remain largely unresolved. Consequently, little is known about the drivers of their evolution, including the possible association of uplifting of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) with the early divergence of the subfamily. We use complete sequence data of the mitochondrial DNA gene encoding the protein cytochrome b (Cytb) to hypothesize the phylogeny of 85 species belonging to 47 genera in the Cyprininae plus 6 species from the Leuciscinae. We employ 6 other species from Cypriniformes as outgroup taxa and estimate divergence times. Our results indicate that European Barbus sensu stricto lineage including Aulopyge shares a common ancestor with specialized and highly specialized schizothoracins and the genera Cyprinion and Scaphiodonichtys. The common ancestor appears to have originated in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) region about 19.4–17.8 Ma. Barbus sensu stricto lineage appears to have originated about 16.6–15.5 Ma. Small to medium sized African Barbus sensu lato appear to have had an Oriental origin about 19.1–15.3 Ma and are closely related to Asian Puntius. West Asian Carasobarbus lineage including large African Barbus sensu lato might have originated about 9.94 Ma, also in Oriental Realm and has a close relationship to Asian Neolissochilus and Tor. The large-sized Barbus sensu lato appear to have diverged from Carasobarbus about 7.7 Ma. Finally, the Cyprininae appear to have radiated rapidly into nine lineages and many sublineages from about 27.8 to 17.8 Ma, close to the time of the second-stage tectonic movements of the QTP. Our analyses provide evidence that the uplifting of the QTP drove early diversification of the Cyprininae. Our extensive sampling of species involving all of the important areas results in clear evolutionary scenario for the Cyprininae.


Barbus cyprininae molecular clock Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Wang
    • 1
  • XiaoYun Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  • ZiMing Chen
    • 3
  • ZhaoPing Yue
    • 3
  • Wei Ma
    • 1
  • ShanYuan Chen
    • 1
  • Heng Xiao
    • 3
  • Robert W. Murphy
    • 2
    • 4
  • YaPing Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • RuiGuang Zan
    • 3
  • Jing Luo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Conservation and Utilization of Bio-resources and Key Laboratory for Animal Genetic Diversity and Evolution of High Education in Yunnan Province, School of Life SciencesYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution and Yunnan Laboratory of Molecular Biology of Domestic Animals, Kunming Institute of ZoologyChinese Academy of SciencesKunmingChina
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesYunnan UniversityKunmingChina
  4. 4.Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, Department of Natural HistoryRoyal Ontario MuseumTorontoCanada

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