Journal article

Examination of species boundaries in the Acropora cervicornis group (Scleractinia, Cnidaria) using nuclear DNA sequence analyses

MJH Van Oppen, BL Willis, HWJA Van Vugt, DJ Miller

Molecular Ecology | BLACKWELL SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2000


Although Acropora is the most species-rich genus of the scleractinian (stony) corals, only three species occur in the Caribbean: A. cervicornis, A. palmata and A. prolifera. Based on overall coral morphology, abundance and distribution patterns, it has been suggested that A. prolifera may be a hybrid between A. cervicornis and A. palmata. The species boundaries among these three morphospecies were examined using DNA sequence analyses of the nuclear Pax-C 46/47 intron and the ribosomal DNA Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS1 and ITS2) and 5.8S regions. Moderate levels of sequence variability were observed in the ITS and 5.8S sequences (up to 5.2% overall sequence difference), but variability wi..

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