A rapid genetic assay for the identification of the most common Pocillopora damicornis genetic lineages on the Great Barrier Reef.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23505507

Torda G, Schmidt-Roach S, Peplow LM, Lundgren P, van Oppen MJ. A rapid genetic assay for the identification of the most common Pocillopora damicornis genetic lineages on the Great Barrier Reef. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e58447.
Pocillopora damicornis (Linnaeus, 1758; Scleractinia, Pocilloporidae) has recently been found to comprise at least five distinct genetic lineages in Eastern Australia, some of which likely represent cryptic species. Due to similar and plastic gross morphology of these lineages, field identification is often difficult. Here we present a quick, cost effective genetic assay as well as three novel microsatellite markers that distinguish the two most common lineages found on the Great Barrier Reef. The assay is based on PCR amplification of two regions within the mitochondrial putative control region, which show consistent and easily identifiable fragment size differences for the two genetic lineages after Alu1 restriction enzyme digestion of the amplicons.