Phylogenetic position of tetraodontiform fishes within the higher teleosts: Bayesian inferences based on 44 whole mitochondrial genome sequences.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2007 Oct; 45(1):89-101.MP
Tetraodontiformes includes approximately 350 species assigned to nine families, sharing several reduced morphological features of higher teleosts. The order has been accepted as a monophyletic group by many authors, although several alternative hypotheses exist regarding its phylogenetic position within the higher teleosts. To date, acanthuroids, zeiforms, and lophiiforms have been proposed as sister-groups of the tetraodontiforms. The monophyly and sister-group status was investigated using whole mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) sequences from 44 purposefully-chosen species (26 sequences newly-determined during the study) that fully represent the major tetraodontiform lineages plus all the groups that have been hypothesized as being close relatives. Partitioned Bayesian analyses were conducted with the three datasets that comprised concatenated nucleotide sequences from 13 protein-coding genes (with and without, or with RY-coding, 3rd codon positions), plus 22 transfer RNA and two ribosomal RNA genes. The resultant trees were well resolved and largely congruent, with most internal branches being supported by high posterior probabilities. Mitogenomic data strongly supported the monophyly of tetraodontiform fishes, placing them as a sister-group of either Lophiiformes plus Caproidei or Caproidei only. The sister-group relationship between Acanthuroidei and Tetraodontiformes was statistically rejected using Bayes factors. These results were confirmed by a reanalysis of the previously published nuclear RAG1 gene sequences using the Bayesian method. Within the Tetraodontiformes, however, monophylies of the three superfamilies were not recovered and further taxonomic sampling and subsequent efforts should clarify these relationships.