Evolutionary and taxonomic relationships in loach (Genus: Botia) through molecular characterization in a river of Terai region of West Bengal, India
Arpita Dey, Rashmi Verma, Mahender Singh, Sudip Barat
Loaches which are quite near to extinction are high demanding fish species having both ornamental andrnedible food value. Their identification is difficult due to morphological variation especially amongstrnBotia lohachata and Botia almorhae. Genetic diversity and molecular phylogeny among six loachesrnbelonging to genus Botia were studied. Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) gene (655 bp) was amplifiedrnusing PCR and sequenced. The pairwise genetic distances among Botia species ranged from 0.004 torn0.200. The interspecies Kimura’s 2- parameter pair-wise distance was highest (0.200) between B.rnmodesta and B. lohachata and lowest (0.004) for B. almorhae and B. lohachata. The overallrntransition/transversion bias is R = 3.084. The phylogenetic tree showed that B. almorhae and B.rnlohachata formed a monophyletic group (supported by 100% bootstrap value) and then constituted onernclade with B. kubotai. Other Asian species B. rostrata, B. striata, B. darioB. modesta and B.rnmacracanthus also contributed to this clade but were distant to native Botia species. It was deduced thatrnloaches need attention towards conservation due to its endangerment and vulnerability status.