Cromossomic and molecular studies in Rhamdia (Pisces, Siluriformes, Heptapteridae): a relationship overview / Estudos cromossômicos e moleculares em Rhamdia (Pisces, Siluriformes, Heptapteridae): análise de relações evolutivas




The genus Rhamdia, popularly known as jundia, belongs to the family Heptapteridae, one of the greatest radiations within neotropical freshwater catfish. This group of middle-sized fish of opportunistic behavior is found in small rivers and streams. In the past, Rhamdia was considered one of the most specious genera of Siluriformes, comprising about 100 described species. However, after a recent taxonomic review, the number of species within this genus was reduced to 12. Genetic data, whether chromosomal or molecular, have characterized the genus Rhamdia as a high diverse group, suggesting the existence of species complexes, mainly in R. quelen, the only species where cytogenetic data are available so far. In the present work, different methodologies were used in order to characterize cytogenetically populations of distinct species of Rhamdia, as well as their evolutionary relationships, thus contributing to the recognition of evolutionary patterns and processes involved in their differentiation. Specimens of R. enfurnada, R. itacaiunas, R. laukidi and R. quelen, from the main South-American hydrographic basins were analyzed, coupled with sequence analyses of the mitochondrial genes of R. cinerascens, R. guatemalensis and R. laticauda, available in the GenBank, thereby comprising seven of the 12 valid species in the genus. The analysis of five regions of mitochondrial genome identified 15 well-defined groups with high bootstrap values within the so-called R. quelen, confirming the occurrence of a species complex. The division of Rhamdia species into a Cis-Andean group and a Trans- Andean group, as previously proposed, was also revalidated, although the genus seems not to be monophyletic. The cytogenetic data allowed establishing trends of chromosomal evolution within the group and a hypothesis for the origin and differentiation of supernumerary chromosomes could be drawn. The present work reinforces the importance of distinct approaches in taxonomic and evolutionary studies, suggesting a new revision within the genus Rhamdia that takes the present genetic data into account.


mithocondrial dna cromossomos supranumerários filogenia rhamdia rhamdia citogenética cytogenetics phylogeny dna supernumerary chromosomes

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