Diverse processes shape deep phylogeographical divergence in Cobitis sinensis (Teleostei: Cobitidae) in East Asia

Tzen Yuh Chiang, Hung Du Lin, Jun Zhao, Po Hsun Kuo, Teh Wang Lee, Kui Ching Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Little has been known about the impacts of past vicariance events on the phylogeography and population structure of freshwater fishes in East Asia. The aims of this study are to assess the genetic variability with extensive sampling throughout the range of Chinese spiny loach, Cobitis sinensis, and to infer the genetic structure and evolutionary history of populations. Cobitis sinensis in China may have initiated from two ancestral populations, namely Yangtze and Pearl Rivers, which diverged about 7.24 MYA likely due to drainage systems alteration. In the phylogroup I, a southward dispersal event occurred from East China (Yangtze River) to south ZheMin and Hainan subregions, followed by eastward dispersal from ZheMin to south Taiwan. In the phylogroup II, eastward colonization took place from Pearl River to north Taiwan in the late Pliocene, coupled with loss of genetic diversity in the island populations. This study showed that Cenozoic tectonic movements and climatic and sea-level fluctuations may have shaped the genetic structure of C. sinensis in concert. Highly diverged mtDNA sequences suggest existence of cryptic species in morphospecies C. sinensis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-326
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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