MtDNA phylogeny provides evidence of generic polyphyleticism for East Asian bagrid catfishes

Mar 1, 2007

We explore the intrafamilial relationships of East Asian bagrid catfishes (Hemibagrus, Pseudobagrus, Pelteobagrus, and Leiocassis) based on 245 sequences of 1092 bp mitochondrial cytochrome b fragments. Four haplotypes were found to be shared by Pseudobagrus ussuriensis, Pelteobagrus vachelli and Pelteobagrus nitidus. Phylogenetic trees were performed using the neighbor joining, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian likelihood methods. The phylogenetic trees based on NJ, MP, ML and BL inferences strongly support polyphyleticism for the currently recognized genera Pseudobagrus, Pelteobagrus and Leiocassis. However, the species currently assigned to these three genera form a robustly monophyletic group with relatively low genetic divergence. The structure of maxillary barbels and serrations on the anterior edge of the pectoral spines seem to be indicatory of appropriate phylogenetic traits. We propose that only Hemibagrus and Pseudobagrus are the only valid genera of East Asian bagrids.