Exploring taxonomic diversity and biogeography of the family Nemacheilinae (Cypriniformes).Ecol Evol 2019; 9(18):10343-10353EE
Nemacheilidae, in the superfamily Cobitoidea, is comprised of many of morphologically similar fish species that occur in Eurasian water bodies. This large group shows inconsistencies between traditional morphological taxonomy and molecular phylogenetic data. We used mitochondrial genomes, recombinase-activating gene proteins 1 (RAG1) and the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene (COI) to study the phylogenetic relationships among Nemacheilidae species using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood approaches. Phylogenetic analyses based on mitogenomes provided support for two clades (I and II). The mitogenomes, RAG1, and COI results indicated that several species and genera were not consistent with the traditional morphological subdivisions. The two clades inferred from mitogenomes showed clear geographical patterns. The Tibetan Plateau, Hengduan Mountains, and the Iran Plateau may act as a barrier dividing the clades. The estimated timing of clades separation (36.05 million years ago) coincides with the first uplift of the Tibetan Plateau. We conclude that the geological history of the Tibetan Plateau played a role in the diversification and distribution of the Nemacheilidae taxa. These results provided a phylogenetic framework for future studies of this complex group.