Will a DNA barcoding approach be useful to identify Porphyra species (Bangiales, Rhodophyta)?
This paper is part of an extensive study on the biodiversity of the macroalgal flora of São Paulo state, SE Brazil. Previous assessments were based only on morphological descriptions. Here, we tested the effectiveness of DNA barcoding, in comparison with morphological observations for the recognition and cataloging of species. The focus of this study is the genus Porphyra, which is a conspicuous component of the upper intertidal on rocky shores of this region. With five currently accepted species, we have sequenced three short markers: cox1, cox2–3 spacer and UPA to establish the first DNA barcode database for the Porphyra species from the Brazilian coast. The three markers, although with different evolution rates, recovered a cryptic species (Porphyra sp. 77), grouped two different species (Porphyra drewiana and Porphyra spiralis) that are being synonymized, and finally indicated that varieties within P. acanthophora and P. spiralis are merely morphological, with no sequence divergence in the studied molecular markers.
KeywordsPorphyra Bangiales DNA barcode cox1 cox2–3 UPA
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