From Germs to Mammals in Aqua
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Genetics of Aquatic Organisms 2017, Vol 1, Num, 2     (Pages: 61-69)

DNA Barcoding of Tetraodontidae Species from the Mediterranean Sea: Filling Knowledge Gaps for Improved Taxonomic Accuracy

Adriana Vella 1 ,Noel Vella 1 ,Firdes Saadet Karakulak 2 ,Isik Oray 2

1 University of Malta, Department of Biology, Conservation Biology Research Group, Msida, Malta
2 Istanbul University, Faculty of Fisheries, Istanbul, Turkey
DOI : 10.4194/2459-1831-v1_2_05 Viewed : 7791 - Downloaded : 5144 Following changes have been done:
1. L. spadiceus species name is changed to L. guentheri.
2. The column data for %TL of L. sceleratus shifted up.

Most of the Mediterranean members of the family Tetraodontidae are non-native to the region, and include species of both Atlantic and Indo-Pacific origin. Anthropogenic activities are synergistically causing the populations of these non-native species to expand, causing ecological and economical losses in the Mediterranean Sea. The current study evaluated the morphological and the genetic characteristics of six Tetraodontidae species collected from the Mediterranean Sea. Two mitochondrial sequences, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and the control region were studied covering over 1400 bp from each specimen, with Lagocephalus sceleratus and L. suezensis exhibiting the lowest intraspecific divergence, while Torquigener flavimaculosus exhibited the largest intraspecific divergence. Comparative analyses of the current data with other publically available COI data show the need to further evaluate species diversity of Tetraodontidae not only in the Mediterranean but also in their native range. Filling knowledge gaps for improved taxonomic identification of species is essential to accurately track these species and their populations in the Mediterranean and beyond.
Keywords : DNA barcoding, Tetraodontidae, pufferfish, Mediterranean, taxonomy