Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 53, Issue 15, pp 2342–2352 | Cite as

Bayesian mixed models and divergence time estimation of Chinese cavefishes (Cyprinidae: Sinocyclocheilus)

  • ZhiQiang Li
  • BaoCheng Guo
  • JunBing Li
  • ShunPing HeEmail author
  • YiYu Chen
Articles Hydrobiology


The genus Sinocyclocheilus is distributed in Yun-Gui Plateau and its surrounding region only, within more than 10 cave species showing different degrees of degeneration of eyes and pigmentation with wonderful adaptations. To present, published morphological and molecular phylogenetic hypotheses of Sinocyclocheilus from prior works are very different and the relationships within the genus are still far from clear. We obtained the sequences of cytochrome b (cyt b) and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) of 34 species within Sinocyclocheilus, which represent the most dense taxon sampling to date. We performed Bayesian mixed models analyses with this data set. Under this phylogenetic framework, we estimated the divergence times of recovered clades using different methods under relaxed molecular clock. Our phyloegentic results supported the monophyly of Sinocyclocheilus and showed that this genus could be subdivided into 6 major clades. In addition, an earlier finding demonstrating the polyphyletic of cave species and the most basal position of S. jii was corroborated. Relaxed divergence-time estimation suggested that Sinocyclocheilus originated at the late Miocene, about 11 million years ago (Ma), which is older than what have been assumed.


Sinocyclocheilus phylogeny relaxed molecular clock 


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Copyright information

© Science in China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • ZhiQiang Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • BaoCheng Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • JunBing Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • ShunPing He
    • 1
    Email author
  • YiYu Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of HydrobiologyChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina
  2. 2.Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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