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  • Plasticity of Pharyngeal Teeth Contributes to the Adaptive Radiation of Cypriniformes
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    The Cypriniformes comprise approximately 4,200 extant species, with nearly worldwide distribution, being truly remarkable examples of adaptive radiations and species richness. This group is one of the most diverse groups of ray-finned fishes, including the most abundant freshwater fishes with still hundreds of undescribed species predicted to be discovered. Moreover, the phylogenetic relationships within Cypriniform fishes have seemed to be an intractable problem based on different studies showing different phylogenetic relationships with high or low bootstrap supports.    

    Recently, a research team led by Prof. HE Shunping from Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB) of Chinese Academy of Sciences resolving the phylogeny of Cypriniformes based on multiple molecular markers. The phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses in this study helped to improve the understanding of the evolutionary history of this diverse and important freshwater fish group.   

    This study yielded a robust tree based on Maximum Likelihood analyses and Bayesian inference, and further confirmed the monophyly of Cypriniformes. The researchers also indicated that the origin of the Cypriniformes was during the early Jurassic, and found the possible initial geographical range of the ancient Cypriniformes was both East and South Asia (Southeastern area of Mesozoic Laurasia).   

    Compared to other groups, pharyngeal dentition of Cypriniform fishes displayed incredible amount of diversity both in terms of number and shape. Plasticity of pharyngeal teeth possibly contributed to the burst in species diversity of Cyprinidae, as well as Cypriniformes, afforded by the nearly worldwide colonization.   

    This study, entitled "Phylogenetic relationships of Cypriniformes and plasticity of pharyngeal teeth in the adaptive radiation of cyprinids " has been published online in SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences on March 25, 2019.   

    This work was supported by the Pilot projects, CAS Center for Excellence in Animal Evolution and Genetics, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Ministry of Education of China). 


    Geographic evolution of cypriniform fishes from S-DIVA. The six geographical regions are (A) Europe, (B) Sibera, (C) North America, (D) Africa, (E) East Asia, and (F) South Aisa. (Image by IHB)

    Prof. HE Shunping
    Research Group of Fish Phylogenetics and Biogeography
    Institute of Hydrobiology,
    E-mail: clad@ihb.ac.cn

  • Phylogenetic relationships of Cypriniformes and plasticity of pharyngeal teeth in the adaptive radiation of cyprinids
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