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Genetic Diversity of Schizothorax, Tor, and Mystus spp. in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan: Species of Economic Importance

Genetic Diversity of Schizothorax, Tor, and Mystus spp. in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan: Species of Economic Importance

Muhammad Qayash Khan1,2, Muhammad Zubair Anjum2, Muhammad Adnan3, Abbas Khan1, Hafsa Zahid1, Javed Nawab4, Sher Zaman Safi5Muhammad Ishaq Ali Shah6, Atif Kamil7 and Abid Ali1*

1Department of Zoology, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
2Department of Zoology, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Punjab, Pakistan
3Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, Peshawar Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
4Department of Environmental Science, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
5Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Biomedical Materials (IRCBM), COMSATS Lahore, Pakistan
6Department of Chemistry, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
7Department of Biotechnology Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan.

*      Corresponding author: uop_ali@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Among closely related fish species the taxonomic ambiguities arose as a result of morphological similarities which not only conceal the genetic diversity but also pose problems in fisheries management and conservation practices. The purpose of the present study was a molecular characterization of fish species of economic importance belonging to the genus Schizothorax, Tor and Mystus collected from various rivers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The samples were morphologically identified, its mitochondrial DNA was extracted and subjected to molecular characterization by amplifying and sequencing the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase 1 (CO1) gene. The sequencing data revealed rich genetic diversity among fish specimens belonging to the genus Schizothorax. For the genus Tor, as was commonly believed of having two species (Tor putitora and Tor macrolepus), the sequencing data was not in agreement with the morphological identification and hence negated the existence of T. macrolepus. The genus Mystus was also found to be comprised of a single species: M. armatus. The COI sequence of M. armatus reported for the first time during this study will be a useful addition to the database. The present study strongly recommends the effectiveness of COI barcoding for species delineation over the traditional taxonomic methods.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Vol. 53, Iss. 3, Pages 801-1200

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