Evolutionary history of the genus Trisopterus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The group of small poor cods and pouts from the genus Trisopterus, belonging to the Gadidae family, comprises four described benthopelagic species that occur across the North-eastern Atlantic, from the Baltic Sea to the coast of Morocco, and the Mediterranean. Here, we combined molecular data from mitochondrial (cytochrome b) and nuclear (rhodopsin) genes to confirm the taxonomic status of the described species and to disentangle the evolutionary history of the genus. Our analyses supported the monophyly of the genus Trisopterus and confirmed the recently described species Trisopterus capelanus. A relaxed molecular clock analysis estimated an Oligocene origin for the group (~30 million years ago; mya) indicating this genus as one of the most ancestral within the Gadidae family. The closure and re-opening of the Strait of Gibraltar after the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) probably triggered the speciation process that resulted in the recently described T. capelanus.


  • Elena G Gonzalez
  • Regina L Cunha
  • Rafael G Sevilla
  • Hamid R Ghanavi
  • Grigorios Krey
  • José M Bautista
External organisations
  • Complutense University of Madrid
  • University of Algarve, Portugal
  • Fisheries Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Foundation, Greece
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Zoology
  • Evolutionary Biology


  • Acute-Phase Proteins, Animals, Biological Evolution, Cytochromes b, DNA, Mitochondrial, Demography, Gadiformes, Genetic Variation, Phylogeny, Phylogeography, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1013-1018
JournalMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes