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The phylogenetic relationships among 26 species of salmonid fishes (family Salmonidae) were studied using the RAG1 gene as phylogenetic marker. No unambiguous relationships between thymallins, coregonins, and salmonins it was possible to establish. It seems likely, that divergence of these lineages took place during rather short time interval (about 3 to 4 million years). The thymallins are thought to be the first radiated lineage. The genera of the subfamily Salmoninae form two distinct monophyletic groups, represented by (1) Brachymystax and Hucho and (2) Salmo, Parahucho, Salvelinus, Parasalmo and Oncorhynchus. Ancestral forms of these two evolutionary lineages could diverge at the Oligocene-Miocene boundary (about 24 million years ago). It is suggested that diversification of the main lineages within the second group was rather rapid, and took place in middle Miocene (about 19-16 million years ago). Moreover, the lineages of Salvelinus, Parasalmo and Oncorhynchus were the latest to diverge. It seems likely that divergence of the Prosopium and Corergouns ancestral lineages occurred during the same time interval.

Citation

S V Shedko, I L Miroshnichenko, G A Nemkova. Phylogeny of salmonids (Salmoniformes, Salmonidae) and its molecular dating: analysis of nuclear RAG1 gene]. Genetika. 2012 May;48(5):676-80

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PMID: 22830266

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