DNA barcoding of reef brittle stars (Ophiuroidea, Echinodermata) from the southwestern Indian Ocean evolutionary hot spot of biodiversity

Abstract : In anticipation of the current biodiversity crisis, it has become critical to rapidly and accurately assess biodiversity. DNA barcoding has proved efficient in facilitating the discovery and description of thousands of species and also provides insight into the dynamics of biodiversity. Here, we sequenced a portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene from all morphospecies of reef brittle stars collected during a large-scale biodiversity survey in the southwestern Indian Ocean (SWIO). Three methods of species delineation (Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery, Generalized Mixed Yule Coalescent model, and Bayesian Poisson Tree Processes) showed concordant results and revealed 51 shallow reef species in the region. Mean intraspecific genetic distances (0.005-0.064) and mean interspecific genetic distances within genera (0.056-0.316) were concordant with previous echinoderm studies. This study revealed that brittle-star biodiversity is underestimated by 20% within SWIO and by >40% when including specimens from the Pacific Ocean. Results are discussed in terms of endemism, diversification processes, and conservation implications for the Indo-West Pacific marine biodiversity. We emphasize the need to further our knowledge on biodiversity of invertebrate groups in peripheral areas.
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Emilie Boissin, Thierry Hoareau, Gustav Paulay, J. Henrich Bruggemann. DNA barcoding of reef brittle stars (Ophiuroidea, Echinodermata) from the southwestern Indian Ocean evolutionary hot spot of biodiversity. Ecology and Evolution, Wiley Open Access, 2017, 7 (24), pp.11197 - 11203. ⟨10.1002/ece3.3554⟩. ⟨hal-01907132⟩

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