Interrelationships of Atherinomorpha (medakas, flyingfishes, killifishes, silversides, and their relatives): The first evidence based on whole mitogenome sequences

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2008 Nov;49(2):598-605. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2008.08.008. Epub 2008 Aug 19.


Series Atherinomorpha, with its plentiful number of species and highly diversified ecological and morphological characters, is the most successful fish group at the surface layer of the ocean and many freshwater habitats, comprising 1552 species classified into three orders, six suborders, 21 families, and 193 genera. The group includes one of the most important research model organisms, the medaka (Oryzias latipes), together with diverse fishes with morphological, physiological, and ecological specializations, such as highly developed pectoral fins to glide, self-fertilization, and live-bearing. In this study, we examined the whole mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) from 17 species representing all of the three orders and six suborders within Atherinomorpha, with data from 70 additional percomorph species as ingroups, and two non-percomorph outgroup species. We subjected the unambiguously aligned mitogenome sequences to partitioned maximum likelihood and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses. The resulting phylogenies recovered a monophyletic Atherinomorpha within the Percomorpha, and demonstrated its phylogenetic affinity to the percomorph fishes (including cichlids) spawning demersal eggs with filaments. This study, further, provided the first molecular evidence for the monophyly of the respective atherinomorph orders (Atheriniformes, Beloniformes, and Cyprinodontiformes) with high posterior probabilities and mostly high bootstrap values, providing an important basis for the future studies on the phylogeny and evolution of this diverse group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genes, Mitochondrial
  • Genome, Mitochondrial*
  • Killifishes / classification*
  • Killifishes / genetics
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Markov Chains
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Oryzias / classification*
  • Oryzias / genetics
  • Phylogeny*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA, Mitochondrial