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A molecular phylogeny of the north-east Atlantic species of the genus Idotea (Isopoda) with focus on the Baltic Sea

Journal article
Authors Marina Panova
Arne Nygren
Per R. Jonsson
Sonja Leidenberger
Published in Zoologica Scripta
Volume 46
Issue 2
Pages 188–199
ISSN 0300-3256
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of marine sciences
Pages 188–199
Language en
Subject categories Zoology, Biological Systematics


Today, the marine isopods of the genus Idotea Fabricius, 1798 consist of 26 accepted species. Most species can be found in the Northern Hemisphere. While some species have a cosmopolitan distribution, others are endemic to a few coastlines. In the Baltic Sea, Idotea species have a key role as important meso-grazers. Only three species can be found in this brackish environment, I. balthica, I. chelipes and I. granulosa, while nine species are described from the whole European coast. The goal of the present study was to reconstruct the phylogeny of the genus Idotea and to test whether the Baltic low-salinity tolerant species represent a single lineage within the genus. The phylogeny of north-east Atlantic Idotea species was investigated based on a fragment of the nuclear gene 28S and the mitochondrial gene COI for eight Idotea species. The phylogenetic reconstructions showed that the genus Idotea might not be monophyletic. Neither I. linearis nor I. urotoma did belong to the separated and well-supported Idotea clade of I. balthica, I. chelipes, I. emarginata, I. granulosa, I. metallica and I. pelagica. The three Idotea species found in the Baltic belonged to different lineages, with estimated COI-based divergence time older than 7 Myr. This suggests that the tolerance to low salinity has likely evolved in the genus Idotea more than once.

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