Desmophyllum dianthus (Esper, 1794) in the scleractinian phylogeny and its intraspecific diversity
Figure S1. Water masses and circulation in the central Mediterranean Sea, modified from Reithdorf, 2008. (1.418Mb)
Addamo, Anna M.
Reimer, James D.
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The cosmopolitan solitary deep-water scleractinian coral Desmophyllum dianthus (Esper, 1794) was selected as a representative model species of the polyphyletic Caryophylliidae family to (1) examine phylogenetic relationships with respect to the principal Scleractinia taxa, (2) check population structure, (3) test the widespread connectivity hypothesis and (4) assess the utility of different nuclear and mitochondrial markers currently in use. To carry out these goals, DNA sequence data from nuclear (ITS and 28S) and mitochondrial (16S and COI) markers were analyzed for several coral species and for Mediterranean populations of D. dianthus. Three phylogenetic methodologies (ML, MP and BI), based on data from the four molecular markers, all supported D. dianthus as clearly belonging to the “robust” clade, in which the species Lophelia pertusa and D. dianthus not only grouped together, but also shared haplotypes for some DNA markers. Molecular results also showed shared haplotypes among D. dianthus populations distributed in regions separated by several thousands of kilometers and by clear geographic barriers. These results could reflect limited molecular and morphological taxonomic resolution rather than real widespread connectivity. Additional studies are needed in order to find molecular markers and morphological features able to disentangle the complex phylogenetic relationship in the Order Scleractinia and to differentiate isolated populations, thus avoiding the homoplasy found in some morphological characters that are still considered in the literature.
© The Author(s), 2012. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in PLoS One 7 (2012): e50215, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050215.
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