Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

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Genetic diversity of marine oligochaetous clitellates in selected areas of the South Atlantic as revealed by DNA barcoding

Alessandro Prantoni , Paulo Lana , Ricardo Belmonte-Lopes , Christer Erséus


Marine oligochaetous clitellates are poorly investigated in the South Atlantic Ocean, especially along the east coast of South America. Closely related species are often difficult to distinguish based on morphology. The lack of specialists and modern identification guides have been pointed out as the main reasons for the scarcity of studies in the South Atlantic Ocean as a whole. To increase the knowledge of this group in the South Atlantic, the genetic diversity of a sample of marine oligochaetous clitellates from Brazil, South Africa and Antarctica was assessed by the Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD) and the generalized mixed Yule coalescent (GMYC) approaches. A total of 80 COI sequences, each with about 658 bp, and overall estimated to represent 32 distinct putative species, were obtained. ABGD established a barcoding gap between 3% and 14% divergence for uncorrected p-distances and the estimates of GMYC were largely concordant. All the clusters/putative species were genetically associated with previously known species or genera. This study thus confirms the adequacy of the COI barcoding approach combined with a genetic divergence threshold at the order of 10% for marine oligochaetous clitellates.

IS17029  Accepted 09 September 2017

© CSIRO 2017