BIODIVERSITY ASSESSMENT OF FISHES AND INVERTEBRATES IN MERSIN BAY, THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA, BY USING DNA BARCODING

2016-9-25
Çiftçi, Ozan
Cataloguing the biodiversity of marine ecosystems is critical for several implications: e.g. protecting species under threat, detecting alien species or ecosystem based management etc. The eastern Mediterranean Sea is a hot spot for bioinvasion, however its biodiversity had been poorly studied. In the view of the ongoing changes in the Mediterranean, fish and invertebrate biodiversity of Mersin Bay were evaluated in this study by using DNA barcoding techniques, based on the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, coupled with morphological identifications of specimens. Sampling was performed by trawl surveys in Mersin Bay between May 2014 and June 2015. All fish specimens were identified to species level by morphological examination and invertebrate species were categorized initially and later identified by molecular analyses. As a result, 186 marine specimens, 101 of which are fish, 29 arthropods, 35 mollusks, 6 annelids, 2 polychaetes, 9 echinoderms and 4 ascidians were analyzed using both methods. Out of 36 fish species analyzed, 14 were Lessepsian migrants. An Indo-Pacific anchovy species, Encrasicholina punctifer, is recorded for the first time in the Mediterranean ichthyofauna. Barcode records of 23 fish and 18 invertebrate species for Turkey and of 6 invertebrate species for the Mediterranean Sea were provided for the first time with this study. The sequence data, trace files and specimen details were submitted to the Barcode of Life Data System (BOLD; Ratnasingham and Hebert, 2007). Genetic divergence increased with higher taxonomic level. Conspecific and congeneric distances were 0.66% and 14.84% for fish species, while 0.99% and 13.58% for invertebrate species, respectively. In general, specimen identifications and biodiversity measures were consistent with taxonomic status and earlier studies demonstrating the usefulness and efficiency of the method.

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Citation Formats
O. Çiftçi, “BIODIVERSITY ASSESSMENT OF FISHES AND INVERTEBRATES IN MERSIN BAY, THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SEA, BY USING DNA BARCODING,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2016.