ZHENG Lianming, HE Jinru, LIN Yuanshao, CAO Wenqing, ZHANG Wenjing. 16S rRNA is a better choice than COI for DNA barcoding hydrozoans in the coastal waters of China[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2014, 33(4): 55-76. doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0415-8
Citation: ZHENG Lianming, HE Jinru, LIN Yuanshao, CAO Wenqing, ZHANG Wenjing. 16S rRNA is a better choice than COI for DNA barcoding hydrozoans in the coastal waters of China[J]. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2014, 33(4): 55-76. doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0415-8

16S rRNA is a better choice than COI for DNA barcoding hydrozoans in the coastal waters of China

doi: 10.1007/s13131-014-0415-8
  • Received Date: 2013-06-17
  • Rev Recd Date: 2013-10-20
  • Identification of hydrozoan species is challenging, even for taxonomic experts, due to the scarcity of distinct morphological characters and phenotypic plasticity. DNA barcoding provides an efficient method for species identification, however, the choice between mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit Ⅰ (COI) and large subunit ribosomal RNA gene (16S) as a standard barcode for hydrozoans is subject to debate. Herein, we directly compared the barcode potential of COI and 16S in hydrozoans using 339 sequences from 47 pelagic hydrozoan species. Analysis of Kimura 2-parameter genetic distances (K2P) documented the mean intraspecific/interspecific variation for COI and 16S to be 0.004/0.204 and 0.003/0.223, respectively. An obvious "barcoding gap" was detected for all species in both markers and all individuals of a species clustered together in both the COI and 16S trees. These results suggested that the species within the studied taxa can be efficiently and accurately identified by COI and 16S. Furthermore, our results confirmed that 16S was a better phylogenetic marker for hydrozoans at the genus level, and in some cases at the family level. Considering the resolution and effectiveness for barcoding and phylogenetic analyses of Hydrozoa, we strongly recommend 16S as the standard barcode for hydrozoans.
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