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Phylogeny and molecular identification of fishes of the superorder Ostariophysi (Chordata: Actinopterygii) using genomic approaches

Abstract

Ostariophysi is one of the largest fish superorders, formed almost exclusively by freshwater species, with about 95 families, about 1,500 genera and 11,000 species, thus containing approximately 30% of the known fish species in the world and almost 70 % of freshwater species. Ostariophysi are present all over the world, except in Antarctica, where only fossils are known. Despite the great richness of species and, therefore, their great scientific and economic importance, there are still many problems in the identification of species and in the understanding of the relationships between the internal groups of the superorder (and consequently in their classification), as well as doubts in their processes of diversification and historical biogeography, which need to be addressed with modern and resolving methodologies. To address the issue of molecular identification of all specimens analyzed, we are proposing the sequencing of their complete mitochondrial DNAs, which will allow the creation of a large database, which can be used in the future in many DNA barcode (molecular identification) projects, projects with ecological objectives (environmental DNA), species regulation and control (forensic DNA) and also for the elaboration of mitochondrial phylogenies. To address questions about the relationships between groups (phylogenies) and their processes of diversification (macroevolution) and historical biogeography, markers called ultraconserved elements (UCEs) will be used. The use of this class of genomic molecular markers in studies of phylogeny, macroevolution and historical biogeography has grown considerably in recent years, including several studies published by our research group, confirming the advantages of its use in such a study. For the realization of this project, a large network of collaborators from Brazil and abroad is being assembled, all of them with great experience in the study of fish, which will allow not only the satisfactory realization of this project, but also the realization of numerous future projects. (AU)

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