Incongruence between morphotypes and genetically delimited species in the coral genus Stylophora: phenotypic plasticity, morphological convergence, morphological stasis or interspecific hybridization?

BMC Ecology
Jean-François FlotSimon Tillier

Abstract

Morphological data suggest that, unlike most other groups of marine organisms, scleractinian corals of the genus Stylophora are more diverse in the western Indian Ocean and in the Red Sea than in the central Indo-Pacific. However, the morphology of corals is often a poor predictor of their actual biodiversity: hence, we conducted a genetic survey of Stylophora corals collected in Madagascar, Okinawa, the Philippines and New Caledonia in an attempt to find out the true number of species in these various locations. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial ORF and putative control region concurs with a haploweb analysis of nuclear ITS2 sequences in delimiting three species among our dataset: species A and B are found in Madagascar whereas species C occurs in Okinawa, the Philippines and New Caledonia. Comparison of ITS1 sequences from these three species with data available online suggests that species C is also found on the Great Barrier Reef, in Malaysia, in the South China Sea and in Taiwan, and that a distinct species D occurs in the Red Sea. Shallow-water morphs of species A correspond to the morphological description of Stylophora madagascarensis, species B presents the morphology of Stylophora mordax, whereas ...Continue Reading

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Citations

Feb 18, 2012·Proceedings. Biological Sciences·Robert van WoesikAnn F Budd
Mar 23, 2013·Scientific Reports·Shashank KeshavmurthyChaolun Allen Chen
Oct 1, 2015·Systematic Biology·Jean-François Flot
Apr 8, 2015·Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution·David J Combosch, Steven V Vollmer
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Methods Mentioned

BETA
PCR

Related Concepts

DNA, Mitochondrial
Hybridization, Intraspecies
Phylogeny
Unassigned Reading Frames
Coral
Biodiversity
Biological Markers
Genetic Techniques
Mitochondria
Posterior Triangle of Neck

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