Are they really ‘species’? (Potential) cryptic speciation of the common and abundant ctenophore, Bolinopsis infundibulum – October 18th, 2018

Shannon Johnson, MBARI
Moss Landing Marine Labs Seminar Series - October 18th, 2018

Hosted by the Invertebrate Zoology & Molecular Ecology Lab

MLML Seminar Room, 4pm

(or Watch it Live here!)

Open to the public

Bolinopsis (Ctenophora: Lobata) are common, relatively large, and abundant comb jellies found throughout the world ocean. Bolinopsis infundibulum is thought to occur in most northern latitudes, and B. vitrea in tropical latitudes. Sequence data from conservative loci such as 18S rRNA revealed little to no differentiation within the genus and is unresolved for lobate ctenophores in general. In contrast, sequence data from the mitochondrial locus Cytochrome-C-Oxidase subunit I, (COI) revealed species-level differentiation amongst ocean basins for both taxa. Sequence data from the 28S rRNA, Internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rRNA, and Histone-3 (H3) nuclear loci, also confirmed patterns of species-level differentiation. Sequences also revealed a new lineage of Bolinopsis from the Pacific Ocean. Bolinopsis n.sp. included two closely related, yet distinct mitotypes that were sympatric in the Monterey Bay, California (USA). The sympatric lineages were often collected together and did not segregate by depth or geography.  Nuclear genomic RAD sequencing on a small subset of individuals revealed potential cytonuclear disequilibrium and hybridization between the two mitotypes, lending evidence to the presence of a cryptic species complex. Further genomic sequencing and Sanger sequencing, coupled with morphological investigations are underway to determine if genetic differentiation is reflected phenotypically.

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