UTEP Bioinformatics Data Repository

Title: Evidence supporting cryptic species within two sessile microinvertebrates, Limnias melicerta and L. ceratophylli (Rotifera, Gnesiotrocha)
Authors: Kordbacheh, A., Wallace, R.L., Walsh, E.J.
Year: 2018
Journal: PLoS One
Abstract: Microorganisms, including rotifers, are thought to be capable of long distance dispersal. Therefore, they should show little population genetic structure due to high gene flow. Nevertheless, substantial genetic structure has been reported among populations of many taxa. In rotifers, genetic studies have focused on planktonic taxa leaving sessile groups largely unexplored. Here, we used COI gene and ITS region sequences to study genetic structure and delimit cryptic species in two sessile species (Limnias melicerta [32 populations]; L. ceratophylli [21 populations]). Among populations, ITS region sequences were less variable as compared to those of the COI gene (ITS; L. melicerta: 0–3.1% and L. ceratophylli: 0–4.4%; COI; L. melicerta: 0–22.7% and L. ceratophylli: 0–21.7%). Moreover, L. melicerta and L. ceratophylli were not resolved in phylogenetic analyses based on ITS sequences. Thus, we used COI sequences for species delimitation. Bayesian Species Delimitation detected nine putative cryptic species within L. melicerta and four putative cryptic species for L. ceratophylli. The genetic distance in the COI gene was 0–15.4% within cryptic species of L. melicerta and 0.5–0.6% within cryptic species of L. ceratophylli. Among cryptic species, COI genetic distance ranged 8.1–21.9% for L. melicerta and 15.1–21.2% for L. ceratophylli. The correlation between geographic and genetic distance was weak or lacking; thus geographic isolation cannot be considered a strong driver of genetic variation. In addition, geometric morphometric analyses of trophi did not show significant variation among cryptic species. In this study we used a conservative approach for species delimitation, yet we were able to show that species diversity in these sessile rotifers is underestimated.
Keywords: bayesian species delimitation, COI, ITS, isolation by distance, nuclear-mitochondrial discordance, trophi

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The UTEP Bioinformatics Data Repository project is supported in part by NIH Grants #5G12RR008124 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)/NIH to BBRC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors.
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