Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday reads

Last Monday was a statutory holiday here so I skipped the post. Now we're back. A couple of interesting reads for your working week.

In this study we compared DNA barcode-suggested species boundaries with morphology-based species identifications in the amphipod fauna of the southern European Atlantic coast. DNA sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I barcode region (COI-5P) were generated for 43 morphospecies (178 specimens) collected along the Portuguese coast which, together with publicly available COI-5P sequences, produced a final dataset comprising 68 morphospecies and 295 sequences. Seventy-five BINs (Barcode Index Numbers) were assigned to these morphospecies, of which 48 were concordant (i.e., 1 BIN = 1 species), 8 were taxonomically discordant, and 19 were singletons. Twelve species had matching sequences (<2% distance) with conspecifics from distant locations (e.g., North Sea). Seven morphospecies were assigned to multiple, and highly divergent, BINs, including specimens of Corophium multisetosum (18% divergence) and Dexamine spiniventris (16% divergence), which originated from sampling locations on the west coast of Portugal (only about 36 and 250 km apart, respectively). We also found deep divergence (4%-22%) among specimens of seven species from Portugal compared to those from the North Sea and Italy. The detection of evolutionarily meaningful divergence among populations of several amphipod species from southern Europe reinforces the need for a comprehensive re-assessment of the diversity of this faunal group.

Unexpected contaminants uncovered during routine COI-5P DNA barcoding of British Columbia Kallymeniaceae indicated the presence of a novel lineage allied to the family Meiodiscaceae, Palmariales. Available rbcL data for species of this family were used to design specific primers to screen for the presence of the meiodiscacean species in 534 kallymeniacean specimens primarily from British Columbia, Canada. Ultimately, 43 positive PCR products representing six diverse genetic groups from nine host species were uncovered; three are described here in the new genus Kallymenicola gen. nov., viz., K. invisiblis sp. nov., K. penetrans sp. nov., and K. superficialis sp. nov. Although genetic groups loosely displayed evidence of host specificity and cospeciation, examples of host switching with interesting biogeographical patterns were also documented.

DNA barcoding relies on short and standardized gene regions to identify species. The agricultural and horticultural applications of barcoding such as for marketplace regulation and copyright protection remain poorly explored. This study examines the effectiveness of the standard plant barcode markers (matK and rbcL) for the identification of plant species in private and public nurseries in northern Egypt. These two markers were sequenced from 225 specimens of 161 species and 62 plant families of horticultural importance. The sequence recovery was similar for rbcL (96.4%) and matK (84%), but the number of specimens assigned correctly to the respective genera and species was lower for rbcL (75% and 29%) than matK (85% and 40%). The combination of rbcL and matK brought the number of correct generic and species assignments to 83.4% and 40%, respectively. Individually, the efficiency of both markers varied among different plant families; for example, all palm specimens (Arecaceae) were correctly assigned to species while only one individual of Asteraceae was correctly assigned to species. Further, barcodes reliably assigned ornamental horticultural and medicinal plants correctly to genus while they showed a lower or no success in assigning these plants to species and cultivars. For future, we recommend the combination of a complementary barcode (e.g. ITS or trnH-psbA) with rbcL + matK to increase the performance of taxa identification. By aiding species identification of horticultural crops and ornamental palms, the analysis of the barcode regions will have large impact on horticultural industry.

Fungi are among the most abundant and diverse organisms on Earth. However, a substantial amount of the species diversity, relationships, habitats, and life strategies of these microorganisms remain to be discovered and characterized. One important factor hindering progress is the difficulty in correctly identifying fungi. Morphological and molecular characteristics have been applied in such tasks. Later, DNA barcoding has emerged as a new method for the rapid and reliable identification of species. The nrITS region is considered the universal barcode of Fungi, and the ITS1 and ITS2 sub-regions have been applied as metabarcoding markers. In this study, we performed a large-scale analysis of all the available Basidiomycota sequences from GenBank. We carried out a rigorous trimming of the initial dataset based in methodological principals of DNA Barcoding. Two different approaches (PCI and barcode gap) were used to determine the performance of the complete ITS region and sub-regions.
For most of the Basidiomycota genera, the three genomic markers performed similarly, i.e., when one was considered a good marker for the identification of a genus, the others were also; the same results were observed when the performance was insufficient. However, based on barcode gap analyses, we identified genomic markers that had a superior identification performance than the others and genomic markers that were not indicated for the identification of some genera. Notably, neither the complete ITS nor the sub-regions were useful in identifying 11 of the 113 Basidiomycota genera. The complex phylogenetic relationships and the presence of cryptic species in some genera are possible explanations of this limitation and are discussed.
Knowledge regarding the efficiency and limitations of the barcode markers that are currently used for the identification of organisms is crucial because it benefits research in many areas. Our study provides information that may guide researchers in choosing the most suitable genomic markers for identifying Basidiomycota species.

Evolutionary history of the sequestrate genus Rossbeevera (Boletaceae) reveals a new genus Turmalinea and highlights the utility of ITS minisatellite-like insertions for molecular identification
The sequestrate (truffle-like) basidiomycete genera Rossbeevera, Chamonixia, and Octaviania are closely related to the epigeous mushroom genera Leccinum and Leccinellum. In order to elucidate the properties and placement of several undescribed sequestrate taxa in the group and to reveal the evolutionary history of Rossbeevera and its allies, we conducted phylogenetic analyses based on three nuclear (ITS, nLSU, EF-1α) and two mitochondrial DNA loci (ATP6 and mtSSU) as well as precise morphological observations. Phylogenetic analyses of three nuclear loci suggest a complex evolutionary history with sequestrate fruiting bodies present in several clades, including a previously unrecognized sister clade to Rossbeevera. Here we propose a new sequestrate genus, Turmalinea, with four new species and one new subspecies as well as two new species of Rossbeevera. The three-locus nuclear phylogeny resolves species-level divergence within the Rossbeevera-Turmalinea lineage, whereas a separate phylogeny based on two mitochondrial genes corresponds to geographic distance within each species-level lineage and suggests incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) and gene introgression within several intraspecific lineages of Rossbeevera. Furthermore, topological incongruence among the three nuclear single-locus phylogenies suggests that ancient speciation within Rossbeevera probably involved considerable ILS. We also found an unusually long, minisatellite-like insertion within the ITS2 in all Rossbeevera and Turmalinea species. A barcode gap analysis demonstrates that the insertion is more informative for discrimination at various taxonomic levels than the rest of the ITS region and could therefore serve as a unique molecular barcode for these genera.

valuating diffuse sediment contamination in the environment is a major concern with the aim of reaching a good chemical and ecological state of the littoral zone. In this study the risks of chronic chemical contamination and consequences in the bivalves Crassostrea gigas, Mytilus sp. and Mimachlamys varia were evaluated in coastal environments. The objective here was to understand the anthropological phenomena that affect the functioning of the marina of La Rochelle (semi-closed environment). Harbours seeking ecomanagement accreditations (such as the international reference ISO 14001) constitute zones of interest to implement biomonitoring studies. The biological effects of chemical pollution in the Marina of La Rochelle were studied to develop a multi-biomarker biomonitoring approach on specific marine species of this site. Moreover, a genetic (DNA barcoding) approach was applied to validate the species identity of collected bivalves. Of the three species tested the scallop, M. varia, was the most sensitive to metal exposure.

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