Barcoding and Phylogenetic Inferences in Nine Mugilid Species (Pisces, Mugiliformes)

  • Polyakova, Neonila (A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences) ;
  • Boutin, Alisa (National Institute of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) ;
  • Brykov, Vladimir (A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences)
  • Received : 2013.03.18
  • Accepted : 2013.07.26
  • Published : 2013.10.31


Accurate identification of fish and fish products, from eggs to adults, is important in many areas. Grey mullets of the family Mugilidae are distributed worldwide and inhabit marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments in all tropical and temperate regions. Various Mugilid species are commercially important species in fishery and aquaculture of many countries. For the present study we have chosen two Mugilid genes with different phylogenetic signals: relatively variable mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and conservative nuclear rhodopsin (RHO). We examined their diversity within and among 9 Mugilid species belonging to 4 genera, many of which have been examined from multiple specimens, with the goal of determining whether DNA barcoding can achieve unambiguous species recognition of Mugilid species. The data obtained showed that information based on COI sequences was diagnostic not only for species-level identification but also for recognition of intraspecific units, e.g., allopatric populations of circumtropical Mugil cephalus, or even native and acclimatized specimens of Chelon haematocheila. All RHO sequences appeared strictly species specific. Based on the data obtained, we conclude that COI, as well as RHO sequencing can be used to unambiguously identify fish species. Topologies of phylogeny based on RHO and COI sequences coincided with each other, while together they had a good phylogenetic signal.


Supported by : FEB RAS


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