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Ultraconserved elements data for Amarsipus and Pelagiaria

Cite this dataset

Harrington, Richard et al. (2021). Ultraconserved elements data for Amarsipus and Pelagiaria [Dataset]. Dryad.


Amarsipus carlsbergi is a rare mesopelagic fish distributed in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and is the only species classified in the family Amarsipidae. Since its description in 1969, phylogenetic hypotheses have varied regarding its relationship with other percomorph lineages, but most have indicated a close relationship with the traditional suborder Stromateoidei. Molecular phylogenies place families previously classified in Stromateoidei within a diverse clade– Pelagiaria– that includes fishes such as tunas, cutlassfishes, and pomfrets. A recent analysis of a small number of loci resolved a clade containing Amarsipus and the stromateoid lineage Tetragonurus. A subsequent high-throughput sequence phylogeny based on ultraconserved elements (UCEs) of Pelagiaria lacked Amarsipus, but revealed both strong support for stromateoid paraphyly and high levels of gene tree incongruence. We gathered UCE sequence data for 610 UCE loci from Amarsipus and integrate these with samples from all remaining pelagiarian families. This provides a taxonomically comprehensive phylogenomic framework to test the evolutionary relationships of Amarsipus, and evaluate the support for stromateoid monophyly. As in previous studies, our analyses find high levels of gene tree topological discordance with regard to some deeper pelagiarian inter-relationships. However, we resolve Amarsipus as the sister lineage of a clade containing Tetragonurus and a family not considered a stromateoid lineage, Chiasmodontidae. This relationship is supported by both high gene tree concordance and node support. Our analyses also provide strong support for the paraphyly of Stromateoidei, casting uncertainty on previous hypotheses of the evolution of morphological traits across members of Pelagiaria. 


We generated alignments from UCE data from the following studies: 

Friedman et al. 2019. A phylogenomic framework for Pelagiarian fishes (Acanthomorpha: Percomorpha) highlights mosaic evolution in the open ocean. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Campbell, M.A. et al. 2018. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis of the first molecular data from the rare and monotypic Amarsipidae places the family within the Pelagiaria and highlights limitations of existing datasets in resolving pelagiarian interrelationships. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

We also include multilocus phylogenies inferred with ExaBayes, IQTree, and ASTRAL. 

Usage notes

A directory containing individual UCE locus alignments are in the zipped file named

Bayesian (ExaBayes) and maximum likelihood (IQTree) phylogenies generated from concatenated analysis of these UCE loci attached as the files named:

Amarsipus_exabayes_concat.tre and Amarsipus_IQTree_concat.tre

ASTRAL species trees are named as:

ASTRAL_bs15_collapsed.tre; ASTRAL_bs30_collapsed.tre; ASTRAL_bs45_collapsed; and ASTRAL_no_collapse.tre.

These trees were generated in ASTAL using IQTree-generated UCE loci gene trees. Each ASTRAL analysis was performed on these gene trees for which nodes were collapsed at varying thresholds of bootstrap support. These thresholds of bootstrap support used were 15, 30, or 45, as well as a tree for which no node collapsing on gene trees was performed, as indicated by the tree file name.