The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Summary of Publication

Kornfield, I., and A. Parker. 1997. Molecular systematics of a rapidly evolving species flock: the mbuna of Lake Malawi and the search for phylogenetic signal. Pp. 25-37 in: Molecular Systematics of Fishes. T. Kocher and C. Stepien (editors). Academic Press, San Diego.  

The classical methods of molecular phylogenetic investigation, allozyme electrophoresis and mtDNA restriction or sequence analysis, have failed to resolve relationships among members of rapidly evolving species flocks such as the mbuna (Cichlidae) of Lake Malawi. Several classes of nuclear DNA markers may, however, provide greater resolution; most promising are microsatellite markers. The extremely high mutation rates at these loci render them fundamentally different from other nuclear DNA polymorphisms, as changes in allele frequency are influenced by mutation as well as genetic drift. Analysis of two microsatellite loci in three congeneric pairs of mbuna species strongly suggests that these markers can provide phylogenetic information relevant to these recently diverged taxa.




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