Participation in the International Cypriniformes Tree of Life (CToL)
THIS IS NOT AN APPLICATION FOR FUNDING
We welcome new members to the CToL project. People interested in joining should visit the CToL website (www.cypriniformes.org) where they will be able to view various aspect of our project, the proposal, taxon list, goals and objectives of the study, and current participants, as well as many other aspects of the large international initiative. After reviewing this information potential participants can better determine where they can most effectively contribute to this initiative and complete the application below describing their potential contribution to the joint effort. Potential new members should also contact one of the USA NSF PIs who will sponsor their application. The sponsor should share common research interests with the potential new member and will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the potential new members with the goals of the CToL project. Information requested in the application includes a description of the data or other material they will bring to the CToL effort and a brief outline of the objectives of research. Potential new members should also describe how joining the CToL effort will contribute to their intellectual goals and pursuits.
There are no funds available to support research by new members of the CToL project. We hope that collaborations with new and existing members of CToL will produce proposals that fund additional research on these fishes.
CToL Project Summary
In the CToL we propose to develop a phylogeny for the Cypriniformes, the largest clade of entirely freshwater fishes with 3,285 described, and as many as 2,600 undescribed species. This group contains the minnows, suckers, loaches, river loaches and algae eaters. Many of these fishes have economic and scientific importance. Several species of large carp are an important protein source in Asia, and paradoxically, are nuisance, invasive species in North America. The zebrafish is a model organism for developmental biologists; the fathead minnow is used as an indicator species in environmental work; and goldfish are widely studied by physiologists. Many minnows and loaches are kept by aquarists, a hobby that has vast educational and economic impacts. Our project is international in scope with multiple collaborators, including some of the most prominent cypriniform systematists from across the globe. The group includes paleontologists, neontologists, developmental biologists, and molecular systematists, whose collective expertise encompasses the range of diversity within Cypriniformes.
Intellectual Merit: We will develop a phylogenetic hypothesis based on these diverse data for 1000 species of this large and important clade of fishes. We will collect genomic data for a set of nuclear and mitochondrial genes, including a subset of complete mitochondrial genomes as well as morphological data from fossil and extant species. The morphological data will include developmental characters from 30 exemplar species. The phylogeny, including the developmental information will broaden the scope of work based on the zebrafish and other models. We will test hypotheses of molecular and morphological evolution. Inclusion of fossil and molecular data will allow us to calibrate timing of events in the evolution of cypriniform fishes including morphological and genomic diversification (such as polyploidy), as well as vicariant and dispersal events associated with biogographic history of this group. We will describe new species and generate information on distribtuion expanding our understanding of biodiversity. Major research questions include the following 1) Are the major cypriniform clades monophyletic? 2) How do characters of phylogenetic significance develop from protein-gene interactions to fully formed adult morphology. 3) Are there constraints imposed on morphology that generate convergence which inaccurately reflect underlying relationships? 4) How does polyploidy impact morphological diversity? 5) What is the age of Cypriniformes and major groups within this clade. 6) What is the relationship between the phylogenetic history of this ancient lineage and known Earth history? Several other important objectives related to these and expanding beyond these are outlined.
Broader Impacts: Our study has significant broader impacts for the general public and other researchers. We will train graduate and undergraduate students in phylogenetic systematics, development, and morphology. We will support international collaboration and research. We will broaden the scope and impact of research on model species such as the zebrafish, fathead minnow, and goldfish. We are collaborating with the NSF funded All Catfish Species Inventory to describe and inventory diversity of freshwater fishes. We will develop a Web Portal that will communicate our work, and provide information on biology, distribution, and economic impact of these fishes to the general public. This portal will be linked with other databases including FishBase and the Tree of Life web page, providing a wealth of accessible information on these fishes. We plan collaborations with natural history museums and aquariums to develop exhibits, and an educational program for K-12 students. Finally, we are working with professionals on a PBS-oriented television documentary about the discovery of diversity, the AToL initiative and how “we” reconstruct such a Tree of Life, the fascinating cultural aspects surrounding cypriniform fishes, their impact as invasive species, and how modern-day science in a global environment must involve interdisciplinary and highly connected networks of broadly trained scientists.
CTOL is a large-scale initiative that has been several years in the making, involving several researchers studying various aspects of the biology of Cypriniformes. In this initiative researchers from many countries with a shared passion and in-depth understanding of these incredibly diverse and interesting fishes are investigating their morphological and molecular variation. Many of the current participants of this long-term project have a history of collaboration, sharing data, specimens, information, and ideas, and are committed to one primary objective—fostering a collaborative and productive academic environment to ensure a rapid advance of our understanding of the biodiversity and systematics of the Cypriniformes. We, as a group, hold as a fundamental premise that progress towards our mutual goals will be better accomplished in this collaborative venue than through individual researchers both competing for the same resources and possibly duplicating unorganized efforts. We as a group also learn many interesting aspects of evolutionary biology, natural history, and systematics of Cypriniformes from one another.
As such, the members of CTOL have agreed to a Cypriniformes Tree of Life Charter (below) that clearly articulates our expectations of everyone in CToL. Anyone part of CToL or joining CToL must agree to and abide by this charter to be included.
Cypriniformes Tree of Life Charter
All participants in the Cypriniformes AToL project are invited to share authorship on any and all projects detailing the results of this study. Given the magnitude of the data sets we are assembling and the diversity of character sets that can be utilized to address systematic issues within this extremely diverse set of taxa, we anticipate many publications as a direct result of our collective efforts. While we are all interested in cypriniform systematics we will not necessarily all be authors on every manuscript resulting from this project. As a general premise, we agree to abide by the ethical principles generally applied to authorship and publication in any scientific endeavor. In practice, we agree to notify other participants about the topics of proposed manuscripts through a frequently updated “Proposed Manuscript” page maintained on the portal. Prior to requesting that a group working on a proposed study add one of us as an additional author we agree to carefully reflect on the following issues: the topic of the proposed manuscript, our interest in that particular topic, our contribution to the proposed manuscript with regard to the successful acquisition of the data or taxa required for the study and whether we have truly made or can make a substantive contribution to the science involved.
A completed application must contain all of the following information. Please follow this format with the following headings.
Email address: website:
Specific goals of your proposed project:
Description of project by investigator (not more than one page):
Taxonomic list of materials that can be shared:
Morphological or molecular characters to be examined:
CToL Member sponsor:
Area of interest:
taxon identification other
Desired Level of Association
Associate Member is a person that is actively engaged in collecting and contributing samples and data that is directly related to the objectives of the grant (see above).
Adjunct Member is a person who is interested in education, outreach, and other aspects of cypriniform biology that do not require data collection or analysis. Examples could include developing symposia on cypriniform systematics, syllabi and lesson plans for schools and other educational institutions. Aquarists interested in breeding specimens for developmental studies would also be included in this category.
I, ___________________________________, have read and fully understand the Cypriniformes Tree of Life Charter and will adhere to its clear and implied intent during my involvement in the CToL project.
Signature and Name