Genetic diversity of Philippine Gracilaria salicornia (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta) based on mitochondrial COI-5P sequences
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Gracilaria salicornia is an agar-producing marine rhodophyte endemically distributed across into the Indo-Pacific region. Despite previous study that examined patterns of genetic diversity of this species from the Southeast Asian region, samples representing conspecific populations from the Philippines are few. In this study, we performed phylogenetic and haplotype network analyses comprising 95 isolates of G. salicornia from the Philippines using the mitochondrial 5′ end of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI-5P) gene sequences. Contrary to what was previously known, our results showed that the Philippine populations of G. salicornia are genetically heterogenous. In addition to eight haplotypes previously recognized for G. salicornia, eight novel haplotypes were detected from the Philippines, which collectively represented by three distinct genetic lineages. The degree of variation in COI-5P sequences, however, did not allow recognition between the two G. salicornia morphotypes (i.e., “G. salicornia” type and “G. crassa” type). In general, this study emphasized the significance of wide-scale sampling in order to estimate the extent of distribution and level of heterogeneity among the populations of G. salicornia in the Philippines.
KeywordsAgarophyte COI-5P Genetic diversity Gracilaria salicornia Haplotype
This study was funded by the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) under the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). We are grateful for the support given to us by the NFRDI Management, the BFAR Regional Offices, the concerned Local Government Units (LGUs) and the fisher folks/seaweed gatherers. We would also like to give credit to Carlos C. Jacela Jr. and Josefino S. Mondragon for their substantial contribution in this study and to other NFRDI researchers who shared their equipment and facilities during laboratory work. Special thanks to Dr. Arturo O. Lluisma of The Marine Science Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman (UP-MSI) for his guidance and valuable comments and suggestions every time he was consulted about this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
All sampling in this study was conducted in accordance with the Philippine Republic Act No. 9147. (Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act).
Conflict of interest
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
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