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Phylogeny of the most species-rich freshwater bivalve family (Bivalvia: Unionida: Unionidae): Defining modern subfamilies and tribes

Lopes-Lima, Manuel; Froufe, Elsa; Do, Van Tu; Ghamizi, Mohamed; Mock, Karen E.; Kebap�?, �mit; Klishko, Olga; Kovitvadhi, Satit; Kovitvadhi, Uthaiwan; Paulo, Oct�vio S.; Pfeiffer, John M.; Raley, Morgan; Riccardi, Nicoletta; ?erefli?an, H�lya; Sousa, Ronaldo; Teixeira, Am�lcar; Varandas, Simone; Wu, Xiaoping; Zanatta, David T.; Zieritz, Alexandra; Bogan, Arthur E.


Manuel Lopes-Lima

Elsa Froufe

Van Tu Do

Mohamed Ghamizi

Karen E. Mock

�mit Kebap�?

Olga Klishko

Satit Kovitvadhi

Uthaiwan Kovitvadhi

Oct�vio S. Paulo

John M. Pfeiffer

Morgan Raley

Nicoletta Riccardi

H�lya ?erefli?an

Ronaldo Sousa

Am�lcar Teixeira

Simone Varandas

Xiaoping Wu

David T. Zanatta

Arthur E. Bogan


Freshwater mussels of the order Unionida are key elements of freshwater habitats and are responsible for important ecological functions and services. Unfortunately, these bivalves are among the most threatened freshwater taxa in the world. However, conservation planning and management are hindered by taxonomic problems and a lack of detailed ecological data. This highlights the urgent need for advances in the areas of systematics and evolutionary relationships within the Unionida. This study presents the most comprehensive phylogeny to date of the larger Unionida family, i.e., the Unionidae. The phylogeny is based on a combined dataset of 1032 bp (COI + 28S) of 70 species in 46 genera, with 7 of this genera being sequenced for the first time. The resulting phylogeny divided the Unionidae into 6 supported subfamilies and 18 tribes, three of which are here named for the first time (i.e., Chamberlainiini nomen novum, Cristariini nomen novum and Lanceolariini nomen novum). Molecular analyses were complemented by investigations of selected morphological, anatomical and behavioral characters used in traditional phylogenetic studies. No single morphological, anatomical or behavioral character was diagnostic at the subfamily level and few were useful at the tribe level. However, within subfamilies, many tribes can be recognized based on a subset of these characters. The geographical distribution of each of the subfamilies and tribes is also presented. The present study provides important advances in the systematics of these extraordinary taxa with implications for future ecological and conservation studies.


Lopes-Lima, M., Froufe, E., Do, V. T., Ghamizi, M., Mock, K. E., Kebapçı, Ü., …Bogan, A. E. (2017). Phylogeny of the most species-rich freshwater bivalve family (Bivalvia: Unionida: Unionidae): Defining modern subfamilies and tribes. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 106, 174-191.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 30, 2016
Online Publication Date Sep 9, 2016
Publication Date 2017-01
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2019
Journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Print ISSN 1055-7903
Electronic ISSN 1095-9513
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 106
Pages 174-191
Keywords Mollusca; Systematics; Freshwater mussels; Taxonomy; Classification
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