Phylogeny of zebrafish, a "model species," within Danio, a "model genus".

Mol Biol Evol 2015 Mar 20;32(3):635-52. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Institute of Neuroscience, University of Oregon

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an important model for vertebrate development, genomics, physiology, behavior, toxicology, and disease. Additionally, work on numerous Danio species is elucidating evolutionary mechanisms for morphological development. Yet, the relationships of zebrafish and its closest relatives remain unclear possibly due to incomplete lineage sorting, speciation with gene flow, and interspecies hybridization. To clarify these relationships, we first constructed phylogenomic data sets from 30,801 restriction-associated DNA (RAD)-tag loci (483,026 variable positions) with clear orthology to a single location in the sequenced zebrafish genome. We then inferred a well-supported species tree for Danio and tested for gene flow during the diversification of the genus. An approach independent of the sequenced zebrafish genome verified all inferred relationships. Although identification of the sister taxon to zebrafish has been contentious, multiple RAD-tag data sets and several analytical methods provided strong evidence for Danio aesculapii as the most closely related extant zebrafish relative studied to date. Data also displayed patterns consistent with gene flow during speciation and postspeciation introgression in the lineage leading to zebrafish. The incorporation of biogeographic data with phylogenomic analyses put these relationships in a phylogeographic context and supplied additional support for D. aesculapii as the sister species to D. rerio. The clear resolution of this study establishes a framework for investigating the evolutionary biology of Danio and the heterogeneity of genome evolution in the recent history of a model organism within an emerging model genus for genetics, development, and evolution.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msu325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4327152PMC
March 2015
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