Phylogenetic relationships of the North American sturgeons (order Acipenseriformes) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2000 Jul; 16(1):64-72.MP
The evolutionary relationships of the extant species within the order Acipenseriformes are not well understood. Nucleotide sequences of four mitochondrial genes (12S rRNA, COII, tRNA(Phe), and tRNA(Asp) genes) in North American sturgeon and paddlefish were examined to reconstruct a phylogeny. Analysis of the combined gene sequences suggests a basal placement of the paddlefish with regard to the sturgeons. Nucleotide sequences of all four genes for the three Scaphirhynchus species were identical. The position of Scaphirhynchus based on our data was uncertain. Within the genus Acipenser, the two Acipenser oxyrinchus subspecies were very similar in sequence and found to be basal to the remaining Acipenser species examined. Based on our data, Acipenser transmontanus and Acipenser medirostris were sister taxa, as were Acipenser fulvescens and Acipenser brevirostrum. Comparison of our results with hypotheses of sturgeon relationships proposed by previous authors is presented. The sequence data presented here are phylogenetically useful and provide a solid foundation of genetic information for the North American Acipenseriformes that can be expanded to include Eurasian species to provide a global picture of sturgeon evolution.