Fifteen species in one: deciphering the Brachionus plicatilis species complex (Rotifera, Monogononta) through DNA taxonomy Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Understanding patterns and processes in biological diversity is a critical task given current and rapid environmental change. Such knowledge is even more essential when the taxa under consideration are important ecological and evolutionary models. One of these cases is the monogonont rotifer cryptic species complex Brachionus plicatilis, which is by far the most extensively studied group of rotifers, is widely used in aquaculture, and is known to host a large amount of unresolved diversity. Here we collate a dataset of previously available and newly generated sequences of COI and ITS1 for 1273 isolates of the B. plicatilis complex and apply three approaches in DNA taxonomy (i.e. ABGD, PTP, and GMYC) to identify and provide support for the existence of 15 species within the complex. We used these results to explore phylogenetic signal in morphometric and ecological traits, and to understand correlation among the traits using phylogenetic comparative models. Our results support niche conservatism for some traits (e.g. body length) and phylogenetic plasticity for others (e.g. genome size).

publication date

  • July 2017