Research Article

Phylogenetic relationships among Octopodidae species in coastal waters of China inferred from two mitochondrial DNA gene sequences

Published: September 19, 2013
Genet. Mol. Res. 12 (3) : 3755-3765 DOI: 10.4238/2013.September.19.7

Abstract

Octopus in the family Octopodidae (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) has been generally recognized as a "catch-all" genus. The monophyly of octopus species in China's coastal waters has not yet been studied. In this paper, we inferred the phylogeny of 11 octopus species (family Octopodidae) in China's coastal waters using nucleotide sequences of two mitochondrial DNA genes: cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA. Sequence analysis of both genes revealed that the 11 species of Octopodidae fell into four distinct groups, which were genetically distant from one another and exhibited identical phylogenetic resolution. The phylogenies indicated strongly that the genus Octopus in China's coastal waters is also not monophyletic, and it is therefore clear that the Octopodidae systematics in this area requires major revision. It is demonstrated that partial sequence information of both the mitochondrial genes 16S rRNA and COI could be used as diagnostic molecular markers in the identification and resolution of the taxonomic ambiguity of Octopodidae species.

Octopus in the family Octopodidae (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) has been generally recognized as a "catch-all" genus. The monophyly of octopus species in China's coastal waters has not yet been studied. In this paper, we inferred the phylogeny of 11 octopus species (family Octopodidae) in China's coastal waters using nucleotide sequences of two mitochondrial DNA genes: cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and 16S rRNA. Sequence analysis of both genes revealed that the 11 species of Octopodidae fell into four distinct groups, which were genetically distant from one another and exhibited identical phylogenetic resolution. The phylogenies indicated strongly that the genus Octopus in China's coastal waters is also not monophyletic, and it is therefore clear that the Octopodidae systematics in this area requires major revision. It is demonstrated that partial sequence information of both the mitochondrial genes 16S rRNA and COI could be used as diagnostic molecular markers in the identification and resolution of the taxonomic ambiguity of Octopodidae species.