Phylogenetic evidence for recent diversification of obligate coral-dwelling gobies compared with their host corals

Duchene, David, Klanten, Selma O., Munday, Philip L., Herler, Jürgen, and van Herwerden, Lynne (2013) Phylogenetic evidence for recent diversification of obligate coral-dwelling gobies compared with their host corals. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 69 (1). pp. 123-132.

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The rich diversity of coral reef organisms is supported, at least in part, by the diversity of coral reef habitat. Some of the most habitat specialised fishes on coral reefs are obligate coral-dwelling gobies of the genus Gobiodon that inhabit a range of coral species, mostly of the genus Acropora. However, the role of this specialised pattern of habitat use in the evolution of coral-dwelling gobies is not well understood. Diversification of coral-dwelling gobies may be driven by the diversification of their host corals (cospeciation), or alternatively, diversification of these fishes may have occurred independently of the diversification of host corals. The cospeciation hypothesis assumes similar timing in evolution of the gobies and their host corals. We used four genes for each group and the available fossil records to reconstruct and date phylogenies for 20 species of Gobiodon from the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea, and for 28 species of the coral genus Acropora. Our results indicate that Gobiodon diversified mostly in the last ~5 My, whereas Acropora corals have consistently diversified since the Eocene, making the hypothesis of cospeciation untenable. The fully resolved molecular phylogeny of the genus Gobiodon is in part at odds with previous analyses incorporating morphological data and indicates that some morphological traits form paraphyletic clades within Gobiodon. Our phylogeny supports a hypothesis in which Gobiodon diversified in the Indo-Pacific Ocean and then radiated recently, with multiple new variants found in the Red Sea.

Item ID: 29291
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-9513
Keywords: cospeciation, mutualism, coral reef, Gobiodon, Acropora, molecular dating
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This is an open access article published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), James Cook University (JCU), Austrian Science Fund
Projects and Grants: Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project number P21616-B12
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 05:25
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0603 Evolutionary Biology > 060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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