Article

Species identification and phylogenetic analysis of genus Nassarius (Nassariidae) based on mitochondrial genes

Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology (Impact Factor: 0.58). 28(3):565-572. DOI: 10.1007/s00343-010-9031-4

ABSTRACT Genus Nassarius contains many subgenera, such as Zeuxis, Telasco, Niotha, Varicinassa, Plicarcularia, Nassarius s. str. and Reticunassa. On the basis of morphological characteristics of the shell and radula and sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase
subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA genes, Nassarius specimens collected from the South China Sea were identified and phylogenetically analyzed. Although Nassarius sp. and Nassarius (Varicinassa) variciferus were morphologically different in their shells, few variations were found among their radular teeth and sequences of mtCOI
and mt16S RNA genes. Therefore, Nassarius sp. should be classified as N. (Varicinassa) variciferus. Nassarius (Zeuxis) sp. has only a subtle difference from Nassarius (Zeuxis) algidus on the shell, but it shows obvious differences in radular teeth and DNA sequence, indicating that they are two distinct species.
Sequence divergence of mtCOI and mt16S RNA genes within Nassarius species was much lower than that between species, suggesting that these two genes are suitable for Nassarius species identification. Phylogenetic analysis (neighbor-joining and maximum parsimony) based on mtCOI and mt16S rRNA genes
revealed the presence of two groups in genus Nassarius and a closest relationship between subgenera Zeuxis and Telasco. Species of subgenus Plicarcularia did not form a single clade. The molecular phylogeny was not congruent with the previous morphological phylogeny. The subgeneric
divisions of genus Nassarius appear to be uncertain and unreliable.

Keyword
Nassarius
-species identification-mtCOI gene-mt16S rRNA gene

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    ABSTRACT: Correct identification and cryptic biodiversity revelation for marine organisms are pressing since the marine life is important in maintaining the balance of ecological system and is facing the problem of biodiversity crisis or food safety. DNA barcoding has been proved successful to provide resolution beyond the boundaries of morphological information. Nassarius, the common mudsnail, plays an important role in marine environment and has problem in food safety, but the classification of it is quite confused because of the complex morphological diversity. Here we report a comprehensive barcoding analysis of 22 Nassarius species. We integrated the mitochondrial and nuclear sequences and the morphological characters to determine 13 Nassarius species studied and reveal four cryptic species and one pair synonyms. Distance, monophyly, and character-based barcoding methods were employed. Such successful identification and unexpected cryptic discovery is significant for Nassarius in food safety and species conversation and remind us to pay more attention to the hidden cryptic biodiversity ignored in marine life. Distance, monophyly, and character-based barcoding methods are all very helpful in identification but the character-based method shows some advantages.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e47276. · 3.73 Impact Factor