Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

Taxonomic distinction of Ophelia barquii and O. bicornis (Annelida: Polychaeta) in the Mediterranean as revealed by ISSR markers and the number of nephridiopores

Ferruccio  Maltagliati a1c1, Marco  Casu a2, Tiziana  Lai a2, Daniela Iraci  Sareri a3, Daniela  Casu a1a2, Marco Curini  Galletti a2, Grazia  Cantone a3 and Alberto  Castelli a1
a1 Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Uomo e dell'Ambiente, Università di Pisa, Via A. Volta 6, 56126 Pisa, Italy
a2 Dipartimento di Zoologia e Antropologia Biologica, Università di Sassari, Via F. Muroni 25, 07100 Sassari, Italy
a3 Dipartimento di Biologia Animale ‘M. La Greca’, Università di Catania, Via Androne 81, 95124 Catania, Italy

Article author query
maltagliati f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
casu m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lai t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sareri di   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
casu d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
galletti mc   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
cantone g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
castelli a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Ophelia bicornis sensu lato is a polychaete living in intertidal sandy habitats of Mediterranean and European Atlantic coasts, whose systematics have been strongly debated in the past few decades. In the present work the count of nephridiopores was coupled with genetic analysis carried out with DNA markers (inter simple sequence repeats) for a total of 30 individuals collected at six Italian beaches. Exact test, analysis of molecular variance, non-metric multidimensional scaling and assignment tests clearly separated individuals with five nephridiopore pairs from those with six pairs. This finding validated results of a recent allozyme study in which O. bicornis sensu lato was split into O. bicornis sensu stricto (six nephridiopore pairs) and O. barquii (five nephridiopore pairs). This paper represents a further contribution to the estimation of biodiversity within marine invertebrates.

(Received January 14 2005)
(Accepted May 20 2005)

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