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Marine nematode taxonomy in the age of DNA: the present and future of molecular tools to assess their biodiversity

In: Nematology
Authors:
Neyvan Renato Rodrigues da SilvaDepartamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil, Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil, Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Campus Zona Norte, Rua Brusque 2926, Potengi, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil;, Email: neyvan.rodrigues@ifrn.edu.br

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Maria Cristina da SilvaDepartamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil

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Verônica Fonseca GenevoisDepartamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil

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André Morgado EstevesDepartamento de Zoologia, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil

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Paul De LeyDepartment of Nematology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA

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Wilfrida DecraemerDepartment of Biology, Ghent University, Ledeganckstraat 35, B 9000, Ghent, Belgium, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, B 1000 Brussels, Belgium

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Tania Tassinari RiegerDepartamento de Genética, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil

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Maria Tereza dos Santos CorreiaDepartamento de Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Av. Prof. Professor Moraes Rêgo, s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife, Brazil

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Abstract

Molecular taxonomy is one of the most promising yet challenging fields of biology. Molecular markers such as nuclear and mitochondrial genes are being used in a variety of studies surveying marine nematode taxa. Sequences from more than 600 species have been deposited to date in online databases. These barcode sequences are assigned to 150 nominal species from 104 genera. There are 41 species assigned to Enoplea and 109 species to Chromadorea. Morphology-based surveys are greatly limited by processing speed, while barcoding approaches for nematodes are hampered by difficulties in matching sequence data with morphology-based taxonomy. DNA barcoding is a promising approach because some genes contain variable regions that are useful to discriminate species boundaries, discover cryptic species, quantify biodiversity and analyse phylogeny. We advocate a combination of several approaches in studies of molecular taxonomy, DNA barcoding and conventional taxonomy as a necessary step to enhance the knowledge of biodiversity of marine nematodes.

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