Penna, Antonella and Fraga, Santiago and Masó, Mercedes and Giacobbe, Maria Grazia and Bravo, Isabel and Garcés, Esther and Vila, Magda and Bertozzini, Elena and Andreoni, Francesca and Lugliè, Antonella Gesuina Laura and Vernesi, Cristiano (2008) Phylogenetic relationships among the Mediterranean Alexandrium (Dinophyceae) species based on sequences of 5.8S gene and Internal Transcript Spacers of the rRNA operon. European Journal of Phycology, Vol. 43 (2), p. 163-178. eISSN 1469-4433. Article.
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A phylogenetic analysis of the genus Alexandrium, including both the most common and rare species from coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea was carried out. Nucleotide sequences of 5.8 S gene and Internal Transcribed Spacer regions of the rRNA operon were examined and analysed together with isolates of Alexandrium spp. from elsewhere in the world. These rDNA ribosomal markers were useful in delineating the phylogenetic position of species in the genus, as well as in determining relationships among isolates within each species collected from different localities. Results of phylogeographical analyses within the 'Alexandrium tamarense' species complex identified three lineages in the Mediterranean Sea: the Mediterranean (ME), Western European (WE) and Temperate Asian (TA) clades. The phylogenetic grouping of the isolates is consistent with the ribotype clades, but not with the morpho-species that constitute the complex. Additional non-toxic isolates were included in the ME clade. The NA (North Atlantic) clade is the fourth group within the 'Alexandrium tamarense' species complex identified by phylogenetic analyses. Based on its higher genetic diversity and phylogeographical relationships, it can be hypothesized that the NA clade represents the ancestral group of the 'Alexandrium tamarense' species complex. Alexandrium minutum isolates of the NW Mediterranean clustered with strains from Brittany and Australia. Alexandrium minutum constituted a sister clade of A. tamutum, which is another species strongly associated with the Mediterranean area. Another typical Mediterranean species, A. taylori, was placed as a sister clade of A. pseudogoniaulax by the phylogenetic analysis. Finally, the phylogenetic relationships of some Alexandrium morpho-species that were infrequently observed in the Mediterranean Sea have been resolved.
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