June 13, 2011
Zoology in the Middle East 60(1)
This study uses mtDNA sequence data (cytochrome b) to explore the phylogenetic relationships between the tooth-carp Aphanius pluristriatus (Teleostei: Cyprinodontidae) in the Zarjan spring and two newly discovered Aphanius populations from the Khonj and Jahrom localities. All study sites are situated in the exorheic Mond River drainage of the Persian Gulf Basin in southwestern Iran. Maximum-likelihood and Bayesian-likelihood analyses reveal that A. pluristriatus and the two new populations represent a monophyletic clade, which is closely related to A. sophiae from the endorheic Kor River basin in the High Zagros and to A. mesopotamicus from the exorheic Tigris River system in southwestern Iran. However, comparative morphological analyses using morphometric and meristic characters indicate that the Khonj population differs slightly from the other two populations in the Mond River drainage, and the mtDNA data corroborate this conclusion. The Khonj population is therefore denominated as Aphanius cf. pluristriatus. These findings clearly indicate that A. pluristriatus has a wider distribution in the Mond River drainage than previously thought, and that intraspecific differentiation is present. The close phylogenetic relationships among A. pluristriatus, A. mesopotamicus and A. sophiae, their previously inferred recent ages of divergence, and the patterns of affinity among further freshwater fish species in the Persian Gulf, Tigris and Kor River drainage basins all suggest that these now isolated river systems were interconnected during the Last Glacial Maximum of the Late Pleistocene (21,000-18,000 y. BP) and remained so until the sea-level rise of the Early Holocene (11,000 y. BP).
Would very much appreciate a copy of this one!
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