Date of Award


Degree Name

Biological Sciences


College of Science

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Michael Little

Second Advisor

Charles C. Somerville

Third Advisor

Tom Jones


Rhinichthys bowersi is a cyprinid fish that is found mostly in tributaries of the Monongahela River. Several investigators have examined the morphology, protein polymorphism, and parasite/host relationships of R. bowersi and concluded that it is a valid species of introgressive hybrid origin while others have examined the same data and concluded that it is an F1 hybrid of R. cataractae and Nocomis micropogon. In this study, mitochondrial DNA was amplified from the 12s gene of R. bowersi and compared to that of R. cataracta, N. micropogon, and R. atratulus, an outgroup. Mitochondrial DNA differences were analyzed by Neighbor Joining (NJ), FITCH, and KITSCH algorithms. Of three individuals of R. bowersi, one clustered with R. cataractae, one clustered with N. micropogon, and another as a cyprinid outgroup. An analysis of 12s DNA sequences of three R. bowersi indicated that it was not a valid taxonomic entity, but was the result of multiple, hybrid origins.


Rhinichthys - Molecular aspects.

Cyprinidae - Molecular aspects.