Cytochrome c oxidase barcodes for aquatic oligochaete identification: development of a Swiss reference database

Dec 6, 2017 | Freshwater ecosystems, Oligochaetes – Evaluation of sediment quality

Vivien R, Holzmann M, Werner I, Pawlowski J, Lafont M, Ferrari BJD
PeerJ. 2017 Dec 6;5:e4122. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4122.


Aquatic oligochaetes represent valuable indicators of the quality of sediments of watercourses and lakes, but their difficult identification based on morphological criteria compromises their more common use for eco-diagnostic analyses. This issue could be overcome by using DNA barcodes for species identification. A 10% threshold of cytochrome c oxidase (COI) divergence was proposed for differentiating between oligochaete species based on molecular and morphological data. A Swiss database of COI sequences of aquatic oligochaetes was initiated in 2012. The aim of this study is to complement the Swiss oligochaete database of COI sequences and to confirm the relevance of this threshold for species delimitation.

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