Cytochrome B Barcoding, Molecular Systematics and Geographic Differentiation in Rabbitfishes (Siganidae)

C R Biol. 2007 Jan;330(1):86-94. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2006.09.002. Epub 2006 Oct 19.


The fish genus Siganus (Siganidae) is widely distributed in the coastal habitats of all the tropical Indo-Pacific, with 28 nominal species recognized so far, based on general morphology and coloration patterns. A mitochondrial phylogeny of 16 Siganidae species, based on the partial nucleotide sequences of the cytochome b gene, was produced. Individual haplotypes of given nominal species generally clustered at the extremity of long branches, thus validating the current taxonomy. However, S. lineatus haplotypes formed a paraphyletic group including S. guttatus, while S. fuscescens haplotypes were apparently splitted in two groups, calling for further investigation. S. woodlandi and S. argenteus formed a monophyletic group, as expected from their close morphological relatedness, although they were separated by a substantial, 14.5-16.3% nucleotide distance. Among eight species sampled from different locations across the Indo-West Pacific, S. argenteus and S. spinus showed the lowest degree of geographic differentiation, a result that correlated well with their extended pelagic larval stage. Fixation index estimates were high in all six other species tested (S. doliatus, S. fuscescens, S. lineatus, S. puellus, S. punctatus, S. vulpinus). The cytochrome b gene fragment chosen here proved useful as a barcode in Siganidae.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cytochromes b / genetics*
  • Geography
  • Perciformes / classification*
  • Perciformes / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Seasons


  • Cytochromes b