First cytogenetic information for five Nilotic elephantfishes and a problem of ancestral karyotype of the family Mormyridae (Osteoglossiformes)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2020
Authors:Simanovsky, S., Medvedev, D., Tefera, F., Golubtsov A.
Date Published:Aug-19-2020
ISSN:1993-078X, 1993-0771

The elephantfish family Mormyridae is the most diverse lineage of the primitive teleostean clade Osteoglossomorpha distributed in inland waters of all continents except Antarctica and Europe. The family Mormyridae is endemic to Africa and includes 22 genera and almost 230 species. The evolutionary radiation of mormyrids most probably should be attributed to their capability of both generating and receiving weak electric signals. Up-to-date cytogenetic studies have revealed substantial karyotype differentiation among the nine investigated elephantfish species and genera (a single species studied per each genus). In the present study, karyotypes of five species representing five mormyrid genera (four unexplored ones) collected from the White Nile system in southwestern Ethiopia are described for the first time. The results show substantial variety of the diploid chromosome and fundamental numbers: 2n = 48 and FN = 54 in Brevimyrus niger (Günther, 1866), 2n = 50 and FN = 72 in Cyphomyrus petherici (Boulenger, 1898), 2n = 50 and FN = 78 in Hippopotamyrus pictus (Marcusen, 1864), 2n = 50 and FN = 76 in Marcusenius cyprinoides (Linnaeus, 1758), 2n = 52 and FN = 52 in Mormyrops anguilloides (Linnaeus, 1758). Karyotype structure in the latter species seems to be close to the ancestral condition for the family. This hypothesis is discussed in the light of available data on karyotype diversity and phylogeny of mormyrids.

Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith