Molecular systematics and historical biogeography of the Nocomis biguttatus species group (Teleostei: Cyprinidae): Nuclear and mitochondrial introgression and a cryptic Ozark species

Anthony A. Echelle, Michael R. Schwemm, Nicholas J. Lang, Brett C. Nagle, Andrew M Simons, Peter J. Unmack, William L. Fisher, Christopher W. Hoagstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The Nocomis biguttatus species group ranges widely across North America from the Red River in Oklahoma and Arkansas north to Minnesota and east-west from Wyoming to Ontario. The group includes three traditionally recognized allopatric species: the wide-ranging N. biguttatus and two geographically more restricted species, N. asper from the western Ozarks (Arkansas River system) and two disjunct locations in the Red River system, and N. effusus from the Green, Cumberland, and lower Tennessee rivers. Separate analyses of the mitochondrial cyt. b gene and two nuclear genes (S7 intron 1 and a portion of the gene for growth hormone, GH), each resolved a cryptic species previously treated as N. biguttatus from the southern Ozarks (White River). Relationships among the four species were unresolved because of conflicts between cyt. b and S7 and a lack of resolution for GH. A previously indicated N. biguttatus-N. effusus sister-relationship appears to reflect past hybridization and mtDNA capture by N. effusus. Nocomis biguttatus includes four primary cyt. b clades with unresolved inter-relationships. A Northern Ozarks-Great Plains-Upper Midwest Clade and an Ohio River-Eastern Great Lakes Clade presumably represent late Quaternary dispersal from glacial refugia in, respectively, the northern Ozarks and an unglaciated portion of the Ohio River system. Other clades include one from the Meramec River and a Black River-St. Francis River Clade. There was evidence in N. effusus for a phylogeographic break between the lower Tennessee River and the Green-Cumberland basins. Geographic structure is weak in N. asper, indicating relatively recent contact between now disjunct populations in the Arkansas and Red river basins. The Blue River population of N. asper appears to reflect late Pleistocene or Holocene hybridization and genetic swamping of a resident native population of N. biguttatus by an invading population of N. asper. This postulates past occurrence of N. biguttatus far south of its present range.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Sep 22 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank D. Lynch, A.F. Echelle, and J. Egge for help in collecting, R. Van Den Bussche for making his laboratory available and R. Mayden, R. Wood, B. Kuhajda, P. Harris, and A. Bentley for tissues from their respective collections. Funding was provided by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma chapter of the Nature Conservancy and administered by the Oklahoma Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and the Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University. Additional funding provided by the National Science Foundation EF 0431132 to AMS.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc.


  • Cytochrome b
  • Growth hormone
  • Nocomis
  • Phylogenetics
  • S7
  • Systematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular systematics and historical biogeography of the Nocomis biguttatus species group (Teleostei: Cyprinidae): Nuclear and mitochondrial introgression and a cryptic Ozark species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this