NAD9/NAD7 (mitochondrial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase gene): A new “Holy Grail” phylogenetic and DNA-barcoding marker for Arcellinida (Amoebozoa)?
Mitchell, Edward A.D
Alcantara, Daniel M.C
Siemensma, Ferry J
Lahr, Daniel J.G
European Journal of Protistology, Elsevier, 2017/58//175-186
Molecular phylogeny is an indispensable tool for assessing evolutionary relationships among protists. The most commonly used marker is the small subunit ribosomal RNA gene, a conserved gene present in many copies in the nuclear genomes. However, this marker is not variable enough at a fine-level taxonomic scale, and intra-genomic polymorphism has already been reported. Finding a marker that could be useful at both deep and fine taxonomic resolution levels seemed like a utopic dream. We designed Amoebozoa-specific primers to amplify a region including partial sequences of two subunits of the mitochondrial nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase gene (NAD9/NAD7). We applied them to arcellinids belonging to distantly related genera (<i>Arcella</i>, <i>Difflugia</i>, <i>Netzelia</i> and <i>Hyalosphenia</i>) and to Arcellinid-rich environmental samples to obtain additional Amoebozoa sequences. Tree topology was congruent with previous phylogenies, all nodes being highly supported, suggesting that this marker is well-suited for deep phylogenies in Arcellinida and perhaps Amoebozoa. Furthermore, it enabled discrimination of close-related taxa. This short genetic marker (ca. 250 bp) can therefore be used at different taxonomic levels, due to a fast-varying intergenic region presenting either a small intergenic sequence or an overlap, depending on the species.
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