The genomic timeline of cichlid fish diversification across continents

Nat Commun. 2020 Nov 18;11(1):5895. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-17827-9.


Cichlid fishes are celebrated for their vast taxonomic, phenotypic, and ecological diversity; however, a central aspect of their evolution - the timeline of their diversification - remains contentious. Here, we generate draft genome assemblies of 14 species representing the global cichlid diversity and integrate these into a new phylogenomic hypothesis of cichlid and teleost evolution that we time-calibrate with 58 re-evaluated fossil constraints and a new Bayesian model accounting for fossil-assignment uncertainty. Our results support cichlid diversification long after the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana and lay the foundation for precise temporal reconstructions of the exceptional continental cichlid adaptive radiations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Biodiversity
  • Cichlids / classification
  • Cichlids / genetics*
  • Cichlids / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Fossils
  • Genetic Speciation
  • Genome*
  • Genomics
  • Phylogeny