Genetic relationships between seven species within the chubbyhead and goldie barb groups of minnows (Pisces, Cyprinidae)  [1996]

Engelbrecht, J. Bank, H. van der (Rand Afrikaans Univ., Auckland Park (South Africa). Dept. of Zoology)

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The chubbyhead and goldie barbs are the most widely distributed groups of minnows in the cooler rivers of southern Africa, south of the Limpopo River. The morphological similarity between species within these groups led to uncertainty regarding the taxonomy, distribution and conservation status of the different species. Consequently, conservation bodies experienced difficulties to describe the variation within these two groups through the existing taxonomy and to determine the conservation status of the different species. To contribute towards solving this problem, starch gel-electrophoresis was used to assess the genetic differences between populations and species within these two groups of minnows. The result of the present study suggests that a third group of barbs exist, splitting the present chubbyhead group of barbs into a tubercle and a chubbyhead group. Furthermore, the chubbyhead barbs can be subdivided into at least two groups consisting of Barbus anoplus from the Vaal River and rivers of the eastern Cape rivers and B. anoplus from the Crocodile and Tugela Rivers (northeastern escarpment). The present study also suggests that the goldie barbs consist of a Barbus brevipinnis group from the northeastern escarpment, a goldie barb group from the Waterberg (northwesterly area of high topographical elevation in the catchment of the Limpopo River), and a goldie barb group from the Steelpoort and Tugela Rivers. The genetic distances between three species
of tubercule barbs (Barbus motebensis, Barbus gurneyi and Barbus amatolicus) and a population of tubercule barbs from the Ohrigstad River (mean: 0.322) suggest that the latter population may represent a fourth species of tubercule barb endemic to the Steelpoort and Blyde Rivers. Besides the taxonomic and biogeographic implications of this study, it also provides evidence that Barbus neefi was probably recently translocated between catchments.

Other subjects

  • enzyme
  • experimentation en laboratoire
  • electrophorese
  • gene
  • genes
  • barbus
  • variacion genetica
  • afrique australe
  • enzimas
  • variation genetique
  • africa meridional
  • electroforesis
  • experimentacion en laboratorio

From the journal

Journal of African Zoology (Belgium)

ISSN : 0776-7943