• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of procbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Proc Biol Sci. May 7, 2004; 271(Suppl 4): S189–S192.
PMCID: PMC1810026

DNA taxonomy of a neglected animal phylum: an unexpected diversity of tardigrades.

Abstract

A molecular survey technique was used to investigate the diversity of terrestrial tardigrades from three sites within Scotland. Ribosomal small subunit sequence was used to classify specimens into molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTU). Most MOTU were identified to the generic level using digital voucher photography. Thirty-two MOTU were defined, a surprising abundance given that the documented British fauna is 68 species. Some tardigrade MOTU were shared between the two rural collection sites, but no MOTU were found in both urban and rural sites, which conflicts with models of ubiquity of meiofaunal taxa. The patterns of relatedness of MOTU were particularly intriguing, with some forming clades with low levels of divergence, suggestive of taxon flocks. Some morphological taxa contained well-separated MOTU, perhaps indicating the existence of cryptic taxa. DNA sequence-based MOTU proved to be a revealing method for meiofaunal diversity studies.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (172K).

Supplementary Material

Supplementary data file:

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Blaxter Mark. Molecular systematics: Counting angels with DNA. Nature. 2003 Jan 9;421(6919):122–124. [PubMed]
  • Blaxter ML, De Ley P, Garey JR, Liu LX, Scheldeman P, Vierstraete A, Vanfleteren JR, Mackey LY, Dorris M, Frisse LM, et al. A molecular evolutionary framework for the phylum Nematoda. Nature. 1998 Mar 5;392(6671):71–75. [PubMed]
  • de Meeûs Thierry, Renaud François. Parasites within the new phylogeny of eukaryotes. Trends Parasitol. 2002 Jun;18(6):247–251. [PubMed]
  • Ewing B, Hillier L, Wendl MC, Green P. Base-calling of automated sequencer traces using phred. I. Accuracy assessment. Genome Res. 1998 Mar;8(3):175–185. [PubMed]
  • Finlay Bland J. Global dispersal of free-living microbial eukaryote species. Science. 2002 May 10;296(5570):1061–1063. [PubMed]
  • Floyd Robin, Abebe Eyualem, Papert Artemis, Blaxter Mark. Molecular barcodes for soil nematode identification. Mol Ecol. 2002 Apr;11(4):839–850. [PubMed]
  • Goldstein Bob, Blaxter Mark. Tardigrades. Curr Biol. 2002 Jul 23;12(14):R475–R475. [PubMed]
  • Hebert Paul D N, Ratnasingham Sujeevan, deWaard Jeremy R. Barcoding animal life: cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 divergences among closely related species. Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Aug 7;270 (Suppl 1):S96–S99. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hebert Paul D N, Cywinska Alina, Ball Shelley L, deWaard Jeremy R. Biological identifications through DNA barcodes. Proc Biol Sci. 2003 Feb 7;270(1512):313–321. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Huelsenbeck JP, Ronquist F. MRBAYES: Bayesian inference of phylogenetic trees. Bioinformatics. 2001 Aug;17(8):754–755. [PubMed]
  • May RM. How many species are there on Earth? Science. 1988 Sep 16;241(4872):1441–1449. [PubMed]
  • Parkinson John, Guiliano David B, Blaxter Mark. Making sense of EST sequences by CLOBBing them. BMC Bioinformatics. 2002 Oct 25;3:31–31. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • Nucleotide
    Nucleotide
    Published Nucleotide sequences
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...