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Mitochondrial DNA sequence evidence supporting the recognition of a new North Atlantic Pseudostichopus species (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea)

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A new species of the synallactid sea cucumber genus Pseudostichopus is described, P. aemulatus sp. nov., based on genetic (DNA sequences of the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome Oxidase I [COI] gene) and morphological characters. A comparative molecular study with two other species of the same genus (P. villosus and P. mollis) and from a di¡erent family (Isostichopus fuscus) was carried out in order to clarify its taxonomic identity. The nucleotide distance between P. aemulatus sp. nov. and P. villosus and P. mollis is su⁄cient to support distinct species status. The estimated di¡erence in the number of amino acids, coded for by a partially sequenced COI gene, within the species of the family Synallactidae ranged from 4 to 18. The phylogenetic analysis clearly supports separate species status of these sympatric morphotypes, as indicated by the morphological analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1084
JournalJournal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2004

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