Biodiv Sci ›› 2010, Vol. 18 ›› Issue (3): 275-282.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2010.275

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Monophyletic origin and synonymic phenomena in the sub-family Cynoglossinae inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences

Shufang Liu1, Jinxian Liu2,3, Zhimeng Zhuang1,*(), Tianxiang Gao3, Zhiqiang Han4, Dagang Chen3   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory for Fishery Resources and Eco-environment, Shandong Province, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Qingdao 266071, Shandong, China
    2 Department of Ecology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
    3 Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266100, Shandong, China
    4 Zhejiang Ocean University, Zhoushan 316004, Zhejiang, China
  • Received:2009-10-21 Accepted:2010-01-25 Online:2010-05-20 Published:2012-02-08
  • Contact: Zhimeng Zhuang


Morphological taxonomy in the fish sub-family Cynoglossinae is complicated and contentious. To clarify these ambiguities, the molecular phylogenic relationships among 14 Cynoglossinae species were studied by analyzing partial 16S rRNA and Cyt b mitochondrial gene sequences. Similar phylogentic topology inferred from both gene fragments demonstrated that Cynoglossinae is a monophyletic group. However, the phylogenetic relationships revealed by the mitochondrial DNA sequence analyses were not consistent with those inferred from morphological classification. In contrast with morphological classification, reciprocal monophyly was not detected between Paraplagusis japonica and the species in the genus Cynoglossus. Neighbor-Joining (NJ) and Maximum Parsimony (MP) trees showed that those species in the three sub-genera Cynoglossus, Cynoglossoides and Areliscus clustered on an independent branch. Also, synonymic phenomena possibly existed in the following three groups of species: C. lighti andC. joyner, C. abbreviatus and C. purpureomaculatus, as well as in C. semilaevis, C. gracilis and C. trigrammus. Our results highlight the open questions surrounding the morphological classification of Cynoglossinae species. Information on molecular phylogenic relationships will likely be of help in revising the morphological classification of Cynoglossinae species.

Key words: Cynoglossinae, 16S rRNA, Cyt b, molecular phylogenic relationship