Molecular variation and phylogenetic status of ponyfish (Perciformes: Leiognathidae) in Karaikal, South India
The family Leiognathidae, commonly known as ponyfish and they are mainly classified by mouth morphology. In this study, genetic variation and phylogenetic relationships among nine genera and 13 species of Leiognathidae, inferred from Cytochrome Oxydase I gene. The Neighbour Joining tree showed the paraphyly of the studied species form genus Secutor and monophyly status all the other eight genera. Leiognathus equulus is occupying a basal branch of the family NJ tree. The highest genetic distance (0.349) showed between Eubleekeria and Nuchequula. The lowest genetic distance (0.007) showed between the genus Nuchequula and Leiognathus. Among the nine genera, very less nucleotide diversity (π= 0.1100) was in Secutor and higher value (π = 0.7558) was recorded in Leiognathus. The Tajima’s test statistic (D) value was positive, so, the entire genus is in balancing selection.
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