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Barcoding rotifer biodiversity in Mediterranean ponds using diapausing egg banks

Moreno, Emilio; Conde-Porcuna, José M.; Gómez, Africa


Emilio Moreno

José M. Conde-Porcuna


The biodiversity of Mediterranean freshwater bodies is among the most threatened worldwide; therefore, its accurate estimation is an urgent issue. However, traditional methods are likely to underestimate freshwater zooplankton biodiversity due to its high species seasonality and cryptic diversity. We test the value of applying DNA barcoding to diapausing egg banks, in combination with the creation of a reference collection of DNA barcodes using adult individual samples, to characterize rotifer communities. We use monogonont rotifers from two lakes in Doñana National Park and one from Ruidera Natural Park in Spain as models to create a reference collection of DNA barcodes for taxonomically diagnosed adult individuals sampled from the water column, to compare with the sequences obtained from individual eggs from the diapausing egg banks. We apply two different approaches to carry out DNA taxonomy analyses, the generalized mixed Yule coalescent method (GMYC) and the Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD), to the obtained sequences and to publicly available rotifer sequences. We obtained a total of 210 new rotifer COI sequences from all three locations (151 diapausing eggs and 59 adults). Both GMYC and ABGD generated the same 35 operational taxonomic units (OTUs), revealing four potential cryptic species. Most sequences obtained from diapausing eggs (85%) clustered with sequences obtained from morphologically diagnosed adults. Our approach, based on a single sediment sample, retrieved estimates of rotifer biodiversity higher than or similar to those of previous studies based on a number of seasonal samples. This study shows that DNA barcoding of diapausing egg banks is an effective aid to characterize rotifer diversity in Mediterranean freshwater bodies.


Moreno, E., Conde-Porcuna, J. M., & Gómez, A. (2017). Barcoding rotifer biodiversity in Mediterranean ponds using diapausing egg banks. Ecology and Evolution, 7(13), 4855-4867.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 21, 2017
Online Publication Date May 27, 2017
Publication Date Jul 4, 2017
Deposit Date Jul 9, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jul 11, 2018
Journal Ecology and Evolution
Electronic ISSN 2045-7758
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 13
Pages 4855-4867
Keywords DNA barcoding; Rotifers; Diapausing egg bank; Biodiversity
Public URL
Publisher URL


Article (981 Kb)

Copyright Statement
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.© 2017 The Authors.

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