Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 100, Issue 11, pp 1383–1396 | Cite as

Phylogeography of freshwater fishes of the Qilian Mountains area (Triplophysa leptosoma, Cobitidae: Cypriniformes)

  • Fen Zhang
  • Lina Zhu
  • Lixun Zhang
  • Wenbin Wang
  • Guojun SunEmail author


The effects of the physical environment on populations of organisms endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding areas have attracted increased scientific interest in recent years. Triplophysa leptosoma (Cobitidae: Cypriniformes) is an endemic species restricted to the Tibet Plateau and adjacent areas. Its distribution includes river systems around the Qilian mountains areas which located in the northeast edge of Tibet Plateau, including the Shiyang River, Heihe River and Shule River in the Hexi Corridor, Qaidam Basin river system and Yellow River system. In this study, we use mitochondrial DNA sequences (cytochrome b gene 1000 bp and cytochrome oxidase I gene 635 bp) to investigate the effects of geomorphological changes associated with the uplift of the Qilian Mountains on the major patterns of intraspecific diversification and population structure of the T. leptosoma. Based on our data, phylogenetic relationships among the 48 haplotypes revealed five major clades with strong geographic orientation. Our results suggest that the origin of these clades may correspond to the intermittent uprise of the Qilian Mountains. The Quaternary climatic changes and glacial-interglacial cycles had an important effect on the differentiation of haplotypes and the genetic diversity of the T. leptosoma. Meanwhile, population expansion also occurred during the repeated glacial event and the basin interconnections in the past.


Triplophysa leptosoma Cytochrome b gene Cytochrome oxidase I gene Phylogenetic relationships Population expansion Qilian Mountains 



We are grateful to Baocheng Jin for his selfless help with sampling, Bin Tian, Bei An, Dekui He and Li Ding for suggestions to data analysis, and especially thank Guillermo Orti for helpful comments on earlier versions of this manuscript. This study was partially supported by grants to GS (2014DFG32090 and 2012DFG31450) from the International S&T Cooperation Program of China.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was funded by grants to GS (2014DFG32090 and 2012DFG31450) from the International S&T Cooperation Program of China. In this research, the materials are the Triplophysa leptosome fish samples. All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Lanzhou University at which the studies were conducted.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fen Zhang
    • 1
  • Lina Zhu
    • 2
  • Lixun Zhang
    • 3
  • Wenbin Wang
    • 1
  • Guojun Sun
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Grassland and Agro-Ecosystems, School of Life SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesSouthwest Forestry UniversityKunmingChina
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesLanzhou UniversityLanzhouChina

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