Speciation in the Artemia genus: Mitochondrial DNA analysis of bisexual and parthenogenetic brine shrimps
- Cite this article as:
- Perez, M.L., Valverde, J.R., Batuecas, B. et al. J Mol Evol (1994) 38: 156. doi:10.1007/BF00166162
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From the cloned mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) isolated from two bisexual species, one Mediterranean, Artemia salina, and one American, Artemia franciscana, and two parthenogenetic (diploid and tetraploid) strains of Artemia parthenogenetica collected in Spain, physical maps have been constructed and compared. They are extremely different among themselves, much more than the differences between Drosophila melanogaster and D. yakuba and in the same range of different mammalian species such as mouse/rat or man/cow. The nucleotide sequences of two regions of mtDNA encoding parts of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and cytochrome b (Cytb) genes have been determined in the two bisexual species and the two parthenogenetic strains. Comparisons of these sequences have revealed a high degree of divergence at the nucleotide level, averaging more than 15%, in agreement with the differences found in the physical maps. The majority of the nucleotide changes are silent and there is a strong bias toward transitions, with the C↔T substitutions being highly predominant. The evolutionary distance between the two Artemia parthenogenetica is high and there is no clear relationship with any of the bisexual species, including the one present nowadays in Spain. Using a combination of molecular (mtDNA) and morphological markers it is possible to conclude that all of these Artemia isolates should be actually considered as belonging to different species, even the two Artemia parthenogenetica diploidica and tetraploidica.