Smith, K.F., Thia, J., Gemmill, C.E.C., Cary, S.C., & Fidler, A.e. (2012). Barcoding of the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) indicates a recent introduction of Ciona savignyi into New Zealand and provides a rapid method for Ciona species discrimination. Aquatic Invasions, 7(3), 305-313.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6680
Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene sequencing (DNA barcoding) of Ciona specimens from New Zealand (NZ) led to the first record of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi in the Southern Hemisphere. We sought to quantify C. savignyi COI genetic diversity around the NZ archipelago and to compare this with diversity within C. savignyi's native range in the north-west Pacific. Ciona savignyi specimens were collected from two NZ sites and from three sites around Japan. COI sequences (595 bp) were amplified and measures of genetic diversity were calculated. Based on differences between their COI sequences we developed a PCR-based assay to distinguish C. savignyi from the morphologically similar C. intestinalis. A total of 12 C. savignyi COI haplotypes were recovered from the 76 samples. Of the four haplotypes observed in NZ, two were unique. From the 10 haplotypes observed in the Japan samples, eight were unique. The C. savignyi populations in Japan were found to contain higher haplotype diversity when compared with those in NZ. The NZ samples contained only a small subset of the haplotype variation of the Japan samples, however, NZ samples did harbor two haplotypes not observed in the Japan samples. A PCR-based assay developed from the COI sequences was able to reliably discriminate the two Ciona species. The low COI genetic diversity within the two NZ C. savignyi populations sampled is consistent with a founder effect associated loss of genetic diversity. The robust PCR-based assay for distinguishing C. savignyi and C. intestinalis may find application in ecological and taxonomic studies and can be applied to both archival materials and live animals.
Regional Euro-Asian Biological Invasions Centre (REABIC)
© 2012 The authors