An assessment approach for application of spermatic data in phylogenetic analyses: Within the genus Moenkhausia Eigenmann, 1903 (Characiformes: Characidae)
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Spermiogenesis and sperm ultrastructure from 21 species of Moenkhausia and others related genera are described. To evaluate the phylogenetic signals, 18 unordered characters were utilized in implied weighting analysis through the program TNT 1.1. Four variations of spermiogenesis were found. In the earliest spermatids, the nucleus can be positioned lateral, eccentric, strongly eccentric or nearly medial in relation to the distal centriole. The nuclear rotation can be present or absent. These spermiogenesis processes are related or intermediate to Type I and Type III. Taking into account the degrees of nuclear rotation during the spermiogenesis and other characteristics, distinct forms of spermatozoa are observed among the species analyzed. The phylogenetic analysis yielded a single most parsimonious tree with fit value 2.70000 and the topology obtained founds Moenkhausia as non-monophyletic. However, some hypothesis of relationships previously proposed viz the clade 20, which contains the type species Moenkhausia xinguensis, is recovered herein. This clade is supported by five synapomorphies, and it allows the supposition that these species constitute a monophyletic group. The whole topology is presented and discussed. © 2012 The Authors. Acta Zoologica © 2012 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.