Morphological and genetic analyses of xeniid soft coral diversity (Octocorallia; Alcyonacea)

  title={Morphological and genetic analyses of xeniid soft coral diversity (Octocorallia; Alcyonacea)},
  author={Kristina Stemmer and Ingo Burghardt and Christoph Mayer and G{\"o}tz B. Reinicke and Heike W{\"a}gele and Ralph Tollrian and Florian Leese},
  journal={Organisms Diversity \& Evolution},
Studies on the biodiversity and evolution of octocorals are hindered by the incomplete knowledge of their taxonomy, which is due to few reliable morphological characters. Therefore, assessment of true species diversity within abundant and ecologically important families such as Xeniidae is difficult. Mitochondrial genes provide a reliable solution to this problem for a wide range of taxa. However, low mutation rates of the mitochondrial DNA in octocorals result in insufficient variability for… 
DNA barcoding of xeniid soft corals (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Xeniidae) from Indonesia: species richness and phylogenetic relationships
Use of molecular barcodes to discriminate species will facilitate future ecological studies of Xeniidae, a group that has been shown to opportunistically monopolize disturbed reef habitat.
Could polyp pulsation be the key to species boundaries in the genus Ovabunda (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea: Xeniidae)?
Comparisons of SNP sites in 28S among parents and their respective offspring suggest that the pulsating and non-pulsating groups are reproductively isolated, as the authors did not find any of the heterozygotes that would be expected if cross-fertilization existed between the two clades.
A taxonomic survey of Saudi Arabian Red Sea octocorals (Cnidaria: Alcyonacea)
A preliminary survey of Saudi Arabian Alcyonacea is presented, which combines classical taxonomy, multilocus molecular barcodes, and in situ photographs, and highlights octocoral taxa that require further taxonomic attention.
An EPIC journey to locate single‐copy nuclear markers in sea anemones
EPIC (exon‐priming intron‐crossing) primers were employed to evaluate whether morphological variability in marginal tentacle protuberances is indicative of intraspecific variation or cryptic species in the shallow‐water anemone Phymanthus crucifer and a review of putative single‐copy markers used in octocoral and scleractinian phylogenetics.
Defense in the Aeolidoidean Genus Phyllodesmium (Gastropoda)
Results of the first chemical investigation of P. briareum are reported, and structural similarity or dissimilarity of particular slug metabolites suggests a closer, or more distant relationship of the respective Phyllodesmium taxa.
Revisiting the Phylogenetic History of Helminths Through Genomics, the Case of the New Echinococcus oligarthrus Genome
Light is shed on the Echinococcus phylogeny and the basis to study sylvatic Echinitis species and their developmental evolutionary features is settled and settled.
Octocoral Tissue Provides Protection from Declining Oceanic pH
A protective role of the octocoral tissue against adverse pH conditions, thus maintaining them unharmed at high pCO2 is suggested, in light of the competition for space with the less resilient reef calcifiers, octocorals may have a significant advantage under greater than normal acidic conditions.


Molecular phylogenetic insights into the evolution of Octocorallia: a review.
Emerging next-generation genomic-sequencing technologies offer the best hope for a breakthrough in the understanding of phylogenetic relationships and of evolution of morphological traits in Octocorallia.
The evolutionary history of the coral genus Acropora (Scleractinia, Cnidaria) based on a mitochondrial and a nuclear marker: reticulation, incomplete lineage sorting, or morphological convergence?
The results indicate that many Acropora species belong to a species complex or syngameon and that morphology has little predictive value with regard to syngAMEon composition.
Patterns of evolution in the scleractinian coral genus Montipora (Acroporidae)
Molecular relationships among 25 species of the species-rich scleractinian genus Montipora sampled from Irian Jaya and Magnetic Island suggest that occasional gene exchange through interspecific hybridisation occurs between a small number of species in this coral genus.
Examination of species boundaries in the Acropora cervicornis group (Scleractinia, Cnidaria) using nuclear DNA sequence analyses
Data support the hypothesis that A. prolifera is the product of hybridization between two species that have a different allelic composition for the Pax‐C intron, i.e. A. cervicornis and A. palmata, which backcrosses with the parental species at low frequency.
Limitations of mitochondrial gene barcoding in Octocorallia
The limitations of mitochondrial gene barcoding in the sub‐class Octocorallia, a large, diverse, and ecologically important group of anthozoans, are examined, finding a COI’+ igr1 +‰msh1 barcode nonetheless represents a valuable addition to the depauperate set of characters available for octocoral taxonomy.
Incongruence between morphotypes and genetically delimited species in the coral genus Stylophora: phenotypic plasticity, morphological convergence, morphological stasis or interspecific hybridization?
Genetic analysis of the coral genus Stylophora reveals species boundaries that are not congruent with morphological traits, which probably explains why this genus presents a higher biodiversity in the westernmost part of its area of distribution than in the "Coral Triangle".
DNA sequences of the mitochondrial COI gene have low levels of divergence among deep-sea octocorals (Cnidaria: Anthozoa)
The sequence diversity of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene among 11 species is reported, suggesting that COI may not be useful as a genetic marker for studying dispersal among deep-sea octocoral populations.
Molecular evidence for the hybrid origin of species in the soft coral genus Alcyonium (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Octocorallia)
Reticulate evolution may explain the failure of several previous studies to resolve the phylogeny of these four species.
The genetic and morphological data suggest a north to south hybridization gradient, with evidence for introgression strongest in the north, however, reproductive data show no such trend, with intrinsic barriers to gene flow comparable or stronger in the northern.