To clarify the relationship among coelacanths, lungfishes, and tetrapods, the amino acid sequences deduced from the nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) genes were compared. The phylogenetic tree of these animals, including the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae and the lungfish Lepidosiren paradoxa, was inferred by several methods. These analyses consistently indicate a coelacanth/lungfish clade, to which little attention has been paid by previous authors with the exception of some morphologists. Overall evidence of other mitochondrial genes reported previously and the results of this study equally support the coelacanth/lungfish and lungfish/tetrapod clades, ruling out the coelacanth/tetrapod clade.
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