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Friday 2 March 2012
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Cryptic lineages or cryptic species in european barcoded bats (Chiroptera)?

RUEDI Manuel

Many barcode surveys of animal and plant groups result in the identification of distinct lineages that coexist within what is considered a single species. The presence of multiple barcodes in a single species is commonly interpreted as an evidence of cryptic taxonomic diversity, but several other taxon-independent interpretations should also be considered. Here we examined this question in a complex of European bat species, using multiple independent markers.

Bats are the second most speciose order of mammals, and species are often difficult to discriminate by their morphology. Other independent characters such as DNA nucleotides are valuable in resolving identification problems of cryptic species. In an initial survey of mtDNA COI barcodes of nearly all bat species known to occur in Europe, multiple major cryptic lineages were discovered in several species. Some of these lineages diverged by over 10% K2P genetic distance within what is currently treated as a single species. However, as mitochondrial lineages in general are transmitted clonally by females only and are prone to horizontal transfer in hybridizing taxa, it is unclear whether these cryptic lineages represent genetic variants in an otherwise panmictic population, or whether they flag the existence of cryptic species within the European bat fauna. To test this important issue for biodiversity conservation, we used 17 loci of biparentally-inherited, nuclear markers to estimate the amount of potential gene flow between individuals bearing different barcodes in a European species of Myotis. We genotyped 344 individuals from 21 populations sampled across Western Europe, and inferred the amount of genetic admixture with Bayesian assignment of individual nuclear genotypes. Results suggest that most groups of individuals identified by different barcodes, even when found in sympatry, do segregate in distinct nuclear gene pools, supporting the existence of several cryptic, biologically isolated species within the European bat fauna.

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Editorial board
  • BRANDNER Melissa
    • University of Nordland
    • Bodø (Norway)
  • BROCHMANN Christian
    • National Centre for Biosystematics
    • Oslo (Norway)
  • CHARITON Anthony
    • CSIRO Land and Water
    • Lucas Heights NA (Australia)
  • DEAGLE Bruce
    • University of Victoria
    • Victoria (Canada)
  • Eric Coissac
    • LECA
    • Grenoble (France)
  • KASAPIDIS Panagiotis
    • Hellenic Center for Marine Research
    • Irakleion, Crete (Greece)
    • Université de Genève
    • Genève 4 (Switzerland)
  • TABERLET Pierre
    • LECA,
    • Grenoble (France)
    • Centre for GeoGenetics
    • Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • ZINGER Lucie
    • IBENS
    • Paris (France)
  • Vodka, Bison and Metabarcoding

    31 July 2015, by BRANDNER Melissa

    The start of last month saw the occurrence of the Fifth Metabarcoding Spring School held in Białowieża National Park , Poland. A variety of scientists attended from all over the globe to learn, share and inspire with unique stories of metabarcoding.
    The scientists at the Mammal Research Institute PAS in Białowieża National Park hosted this year’s workshop. And our hats go off to them for the organizational skills, warmth and hospitality. During the week, experienced metabarcoders gave lectures on their trials and tribulations in the field of metabarcoding, sparking conversations between the attendees. The end of the first day saw flash talks from all participants of the event, creating an icebreaker and showing the wide variety of applications for metabarcoding, including, dietary studies, environmental health, fundamental ecology and exploration of rare and ancient habitats.
    Pierre Taberlet (who is rumoured to run 8000 PCR a day!) taught technical aspects such as DNA extraction in (...)

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