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Spineless and overlooked: DNA metabarcoding of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures reveals population genetic structure in Mediterranean invertebrates
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  • Anna Thomasdotter,
  • Peter Shum,
  • Francesco Mugnai,
  • Marina Vingiani,
  • Marco Abbiati,
  • Federica Costantini
Anna Thomasdotter
County Administrative Board of Västerbotten County

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Peter Shum
Liverpool John Moores University
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Francesco Mugnai
University of Bologna
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Marina Vingiani
University of Bologna
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Marco Abbiati
University of Bologna
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Federica Costantini
University of Bologna
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The ability to gather genetic information from organisms obtained directly from environmental samples is crucial to determine biodiversity baselines and understanding population dynamics in the marine realm. While DNA metabarcoding is effective in evaluating biodiversity at community level, genetic patterns within species are often concealed in metabarcoding studies and overlooked for marine invertebrates. In the present study, we implement recently developed bioinformatics tools to investigate intraspecific genetic variability for invertebrate taxa in the Mediterranean Sea. Using metabarcoding samples from Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) deployed in three locations, we present haplotypes and diversity estimates for 145 unique species. While overall genetic diversity was low, we identified several species with high diversity records and potential cryptic lineages. Further, we emphasize the spatial scale of genetic variability, which was observed from locations to individual sampling units (ARMS). We carried out a population genetic analysis of several important yet understudied species, which highlights the current knowledge gap concerning intraspecific genetic patterns for the target taxa in the Mediterranean basin. Our approach considerably enhances biodiversity monitoring of charismatic and understudied Mediterranean species, which can be incorporated into ARMS surveys.
26 Nov 2022Submitted to Molecular Ecology Resources
12 Dec 2022Submission Checks Completed
12 Dec 2022Assigned to Editor
12 Dec 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
16 Dec 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
24 Mar 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
23 Apr 20231st Revision Received
24 Apr 2023Submission Checks Completed
24 Apr 2023Assigned to Editor
24 Apr 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
05 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
15 Jun 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
21 Jun 20232nd Revision Received
23 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
23 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
23 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
04 Jul 2023Editorial Decision: Accept