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Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 24(2)

Molecular phylogeny of the freshwater prawn genus Macrobrachium (Decapoda, Palaemonidae), with emphasis on the relationships among selected American species

Leonardo G. Pileggi A, Fernando L. Mantelatto A B

A Laboratory of Bioecology and Crustacean Systematics, Department of Biology, Faculty of Philosophy, Sciences and Letters of Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP), University of São Paulo (USP), Av. Bandeirantes 3900, CEP 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto (SP), Brazil.
B Corresponding author. Email: flmantel@usp.br
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The genus Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 is one of the best examples of widespread crustacean genera distributed globally throughout tropical and subtropical waters. Previous investigators have noted the systematic complexity of the group, and have suggested rearrangements within the family Palaemonidae. Our phylogenetic analysis of new mitochondrial DNA sequences of 58 species of Macrobrachium distributed mainly in America support the hypothesis of monophyly of this genus, if Cryphiops Dana, 1852 is accepted as a generic synonym. We concluded that the independent evolution of different types of life cycle (abbreviated larval development – ALD and extended larval development – ELD) must have occurred more than once in the history of the group. Similarly, we also concluded that the current type species of the genus, Macrobrachium americanum Bate, 1868, should not be considered valid, as previously proposed. The synonymy of two members of the ‘olfersi’ species complex (M. birai Lobão, Melo & Fernandes, 1986 and M. holthuisi Genofre & Lobão, 1978) with M. olfersi (Wiegmann, 1836) was confirmed. Similar results were found in comparing M. petronioi Melo, Lobão & Fernandes, 1986 and M. potiuna (Müller, 1880), in which the genetic divergence placed M. petronioi within the level of intraspecific variation of M. potiuna. The taxonomic status of the genus Cryphiops, as well as theories on the origin of Macrobrachium, is also called into question.

Keywords: Americas, Crustacea, Cryphiops, species identity, 16S rDNA, COI.

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