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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Nov 2017, 38 (6)                                                                                                             Back

nstantaneous and historical temperature effects on a-pinene

Morphometric and molecular (COX 1) variations of

Asplanchna girodi clones from Central Mexico


J. Jiménez-Contreras1, S.S.S. Sarma2*, E. Piedra-Ibarra3 and S. Nandini2

1PCMyL, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Circuito Exterior S/N, Ciudad Universitaria,

Delegación Coyoacán, Mexico City 04510,Mexico

2Laboratory of Aquatic Zoology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Campus Iztacala, Av. de Los Barrios No.1,

AP 314, 54090, Tlalnepantla, State of Mexico, Mexico

3Unidad de Prototipos, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Campus Iztacala, Av. de los Barrios no. 1, Iztacala,

Tlalnepantla, Edo. deMexico, 54090, Mexico

*Corresponding Author E-mail:




Key words


Cryptic species

Molecular marker (COX 1)





Publication Data

Paper received : 21.10.2015

Revised received : 15.04.2016

Re-revised received : 19.12.2016

Accepted : 27.02.2017



Aim: In the past two decades, studies on cryptic speciation have increased rapidly leading to the need to re-consider cosmopolitanism in Rotifera. Cryptic species complexes are reported in some taxa of rotifers, especially Brachionidae and Epiphanidae. Less is known about Asplanchnidae although several morphotypes are known to exist. In this work, we report the morphometric and molecular aspects of Asplanchna girodi (Asplanchnidae).


Methodology: The zooplankton samples were collected at 6 localities in central Mexico. We considered the individuals of A. girodi from different zones of a given waterbody as distinct populations and the same species from different geographical regions as distinct clones. For each A. girodi population, we obtained morphometric (body size and trophi measurements) and molecular (COX 1) data.


Results: The clones from Xochimilco were larger in size (707±10 µm) while the smallest sized individuals were from Azcapotzalco (640±16 µm). Significant intrapopulational differences in the body size and trophi size were observed for half of the clones considered in this study (Toluca, Xochimilco and Zempoala). A total of 30 sequences were obtained for A. girodi; these were composed of 566 residues which 426 were conserved sites and 140 were variables. Comparisons among the interclonal populations of A. girodi showed that the clone from Toluca was the most divergent, up to 6.5%; the rest of the interclonal divergence values were < 1.2%.   


Interpretation: The molecular marker COX 1 had superior resolution to distinguish to clones within A. girodi and to separate cryptic species. Molecular analysis also indicated the existence of a high genetic diversification process (K2P> 6%) within the species. Thus it appears that A. girodi is a cryptic species complex. Further this study calls for a more integrative approach using both morphometric and molecular tools to decipher the existence of cryptic speciation in asplanchnids.



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