DNA barcoding reveals the coral "laboratory-rat", Stylophora pistillata encompasses multiple identities

Keshavmurthy, Shashank, Yang, Sung-Yin, Alamaru, Ada, Chuang, Yoo-Yang, Pichon, Michel, Obura, David, Fontana, Silvia, De Palmas, Stephane, Stefani, Fabrizio, Benzoni, Francesca, MacDonald, Angus, Noreen, Annika M.E., Chen, Chienshun, Wallace, Carden C., Pillay, Ruby Moothein, Denis, Vianney, Amri, Affendi Yang, Reimer, James D., Mezaki, Takuma, Sheppard, Charles, Loya, Yossi, Abelson, Avidor, Mohammed, Mohammed Suleiman, Baker, Andrew C., Mostafavi, Pargol Ghavam, Suharsono, Budiyanto A., and Chen, Chaolun Allen (2013) DNA barcoding reveals the coral "laboratory-rat", Stylophora pistillata encompasses multiple identities. Scientific Reports, 3. 1520. pp. 1-7.

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Abstract

Stylophora pistillata is a widely used coral "lab-rat" species with highly variable morphology and a broad biogeographic range (Red Sea to western central Pacific). Here we show, by analysing Cytochorme Oxidase I sequences, from 241 samples across this range, that this taxon in fact comprises four deeply divergent clades corresponding to the Pacific-Western Australia, Chagos-Madagascar-South Africa, Gulf of Aden-Zanzibar-Madagascar, and Red Sea-Persian/Arabian Gulf-Kenya. On the basis of the fossil record of Stylophora, these four clades diverged from one another 51.5-29.6 Mya, i.e., long before the closure of the Tethyan connection between the tropical Indo-West Pacific and Atlantic in the early Miocene (16–24 Mya) and should be recognised as four distinct species. These findings have implications for comparative ecological and/or physiological studies carried out using Stylophora pistillata as a model species, and highlight the fact that phenotypic plasticity, thought to be common in scleractinian corals, can mask significant genetic variation.

Item ID: 29812
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Keywords: evolutionary ecology; adaptive radiation; evolutionary biology; marine biology
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License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivativs 3.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

Funders: National Science Council, Academia Sinica, U.S. National Science Foundation, Australian Museum, Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Lenfest Ocean Program
Projects and Grants: U.S. National Science Foundation grant OCE-0099301
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2013 01:56
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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