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Sponges from Hawaii and DNA barcodes

Added on 2017-12-29 09:39:54 by Cárdenas, Paco
Núñez Pons L, Calcinai B, Gates RD (2017) Who’s there? – First morphological and DNA barcoding catalogue of the shallow Hawai’ian sponge fauna. PLOS ONE 12 (12):e0189357. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0189357
The sponge fauna has been largely overlooked in the Archipelago of Hawai’i, notwithstanding the paramount role of this taxon in marine ecosystems. The lack of knowledge about Porifera populations inhabiting the Hawai’ian reefs limits the development of ecological studies aimed at understanding the functioning of these marine systems. Consequently, this project addresses this gap by describing the most representative sponge species in the shallow waters of the enigmatic bay of Kane’ohe Bay, in O’ahu Island. A total of 30 species (28 demosponges and two calcareous sponges) living associated to the reef structures are here reported. Six of these species are new records to the Hawai’ian Porifera catalogue and are suspected to be recent introductions to these islands. Morphological descriptions of the voucher specimens are provided, along with sequencing data of two partitions involving the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) marker and a fragment covering partial (18S and 28S) and full (ITS-1, 5.8S and ITS-2) nuclear ribosomal genes. Species delimitations based on genetic distances were calculated to valitate how taxonomic assignments from DNA barcoding aligned with morphological identifications. Of the 60 sequences submitted to GenBank ~88% are the first sequencing records for the corresponding species and genetic marker. This work compiles the first catalogue combining morphological characters with DNA barcoding of Hawai’ian sponges, and contributes to the repository of public databases through the Sponge Barcoding Project initiative.


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