Genetics and Molecular Biology
Print version ISSN 1415-4757
MELO, Aline Grasielle Costa de et al. Molecular identification, phylogeny and geographic distribution of Brazilian mangrove oysters (Crassostrea). Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2010, vol.33, n.3, pp. 564-572. ISSN 1415-4757. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-47572010000300030.
Oysters (Ostreidae) manifest a high degree of phenotypic plasticity, whereby morphology is of limited value for species identification and taxonomy. By using molecular data, the aim was to genetically characterize the species of Crassostrea occurring along the Brazilian coast, and phylogenetically relate these to other Crassostrea from different parts of the world. Sequencing of the partial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I gene (COI), revealed a total of three species of Crassostrea at 16 locations along the Brazilian coast. C. gasar was found from Curuçá (Pará state) to Santos (São Paulo state), and C. rhizophorae from Fortim (Ceará state) to Florianópolis (Santa Catarina state), although small individuals of the latter species were also found at Ajuruteua beach (municipality of Bragança, Pará state). An unidentified Crassostrea species was found only on Canela Island, Bragança. Crassostrea gasar and C. rhizophorae grouped with C. virginica, thereby forming a monophyletic Atlantic group, whereas Crassostrea sp. from Canela Island was shown to be more similar to Indo-Pacific oysters, and either arrived in the Atlantic Ocean before the convergence of the Isthmus of Panama or was accidentally brought to Brazil by ship.
Keywords : genetic identification; oysters; biogeography; COI gene; Ostreidae.