Extant vertebrates are divided into three major groups: hagfishes (Hyperotreti, myxinoids), lampreys (Hyperoartia, petromyzontids), and jawed vertebrates (Gnathostomata). The phylogenetic relationships among the groups and within the jawed vertebrates are controversial, for both morphological and molecular studies have rendered themselves to conflicting interpretations. Here, we use the sequences of 35 nuclear protein-encoding genes to provide definitive evidence for the monophyly of the Agnatha (jawless vertebrates, a group encompassing the hagfishes and lampreys). Our analyses also give a strong support for the separation of Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes) before the divergence of Osteichthyes (bony fishes) from the other gnathostomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology