Minimally destructive sampling of type specimens of Pyropia (Bangiales, Rhodophyta) recovers complete plastid and mitochondrial genomes
Hughey, Jeffery R.
Gabrielson, Paul W.
Miller, Kathy Ann
Young, Joel D.
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Plant species, including algae and fungi, are based on type specimens to which the name of a taxon is permanently attached. Applying a scientific name to any specimen therefore requires demonstrating correspondence between the type and that specimen. Traditionally, identifications are based on morpho-anatomical characters, but recently systematists are using DNA sequence data. These studies are flawed if the DNA is isolated from misidentified modern specimens. We propose a genome-based solution. Using 434 mm2 of material from type specimens, we assembled 14 plastid and 15 mitochondrial genomes attributed to the red algae Pyropia perforata, Py. fucicola, and Py. kanakaensis. The chloroplast genomes were fairly conserved, but the mitochondrial genomes differed significantly among populations in content and length. Complete genomes are attainable from 19th and early 20th century type specimens; this validates the effort and cost of their curation as well as supports the practice of the type method.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep05113
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