High intraspecific genetic divergence in the versatile fairy shrimp Branchinecta lindahli with a comment on cryptic species in the genus Branchinecta (Crustacea: Anostraca)

Abstract

Branchinecta lindahli is a generalist fairy shrimp that has a widespread distribution in North America. We initiated a study to better understand the geographic structure of genetic variation within this species and to test if cryptic species are present in B. lindahli. Additionally, we examined four other species of Branchinecta to test if there were any generalities in the levels of genetic divergence within and among species. Genetic data from the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene revealed two distinct clades within B. lindahli: one found in the Central Valley and Mojave Desert of California, USA and one found in Baja California, Mexico. The remaining haplotypes were widespread throughout the remainder of North America. Further examination of the distribution within clades revealed no additional phylogeographic structure. The amount of intraspecific divergence observed for B. lindahli and B. hiberna was high compared to B. mackini and B. sandiegonensis. However, maximal intraspecific divergences were less than what was observed among Branchinecta species. We argue that the amount of intraspecific divergence observed in B. lindahli is not consistent with the presence of cryptic species and that caution should be taken when attempting to delimit cryptic species within this group.

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Acknowledgements

We thank Mr. Humberto García-Velazco and Mr. José Ángel Camacho for helping during field collection in Baja California, Mexico. Mr. J. Lopez and Mr. J. Ulloa assisted in the generation of genetic data. This study was supported by a grant from the UC MEXUS-CONACYT program to AA and AMMM (Project No. CN08). Collections made by AA and AMMM were done so under scientific collecting permits SCP-17338 (CDFW) and SGPA/DGVS/08331/10, respectively. We also thank Dr. M. Schwentner and two anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

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Correspondence to Andres Aguilar.

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Guest editors: Federico Marrone, D. Christopher Rogers, Paola Zarattini & Luigi Naselli-Flores / New Challenges in Anostracan Research: a Tribute to Graziella Mura

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Aguilar, A., Maeda-Martínez, A.M., Murugan, G. et al. High intraspecific genetic divergence in the versatile fairy shrimp Branchinecta lindahli with a comment on cryptic species in the genus Branchinecta (Crustacea: Anostraca). Hydrobiologia 801, 59–69 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-017-3283-3

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Keywords

  • Branchinectidae
  • Cytochrome oxidase I
  • North America
  • Phylogeography